Narrator and point of view


The events described in the short story “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu are told by Jack, a first-person narrator who is also the main character. The narrator is an adult and presents the events he experienced throughout his life, from his childhood until shortly after his mother’s death: “One of my earliest memories starts with me sobbing. I refused to be soothed no matter what Mom and Dad tried”. 

The narrator recalls several episodes which mark the separation between him and his mother. However, the adult narrator has a new understanding of life and knows that his teenage self was unaware of many things: “The high school me thought I knew so much about everything. Contempt felt good, like wine”. 

The story also raises the problem of the narrator’s reliability, which ...

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