Narrator and point of view

The short story “The Whale” by Witi Ihimaera is a third-person narration which follows the point of view of the main character, the old man: "He sits, this old kaumatua, in the darkness of the meeting house. He has come to this place because it is the only thing remaining in his dying world."  This idea is further supported by the fact that the narrative gives readers access to the man’s memories: “Ae, it had indeed been like the old times. The laughter and the joy had sung through the afternoon into the night.” 

The way the story is written suggests that the narrator sometimes shares the main character’s stream of consciousness. This is noticeable when the story of the coming of the white man is told, for example:

Then he recalls an ancient saying (...)
Kei muri i te awe kapara he tangata ke,
mana te ao, he ma.
Shadowed behind the tattooed face ...

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