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Unreliable vs. Reliable Narration

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I believe that the unnamed narrator of “Araby” lacks the qualities that would make him a reliable narrator. The plot of the story deals with an unnamed narrator who is a young boy. He has a childhood crush on his friend’s sister whose name is also never stated. The plot then deals with this boy’s struggle with his own self to rack the nerves up to go talk to his childhood love. Eventually, his friend’s sister asks the boy if he is going to a bazaar rather than he asking her the question. I believe this marks the narrator as unreliable. I believe that a young boy does not have an idea about love and how it works at such an early age which would mean that the narrator does not see or understand certain facts throughout the story regarding the young girl that he is dying to talk to.

1. Raymond Carver is in first person. It is about a narrator who is very defensive about a blind guest coming to stay in his home who is an old friend of his wife. In the end the narrator eases up to his new guest when the blind man shows the narrator an insight that changes his outlook on life. This would classify the narrator as unreliable because the narrator’s point of view of the blind man was very misleading from the beginning of the story to the end of the story.

2. The turning point in the short story “Cathedral” is when the narrator is left alone with his blind guest. This scene is where the narrator first acknowledges his guest as another human being as they share a joint together and the narrator watches the television. This is the climax of the story because it is when the narrator first tries to see life from the blind man’s point of view and in the end the narrator learned a lesson that he will never forget. The climax in “Everyday Use” is when Mama takes the quilts of their family ancestors away from Dee and puts them in Maggie’s possession. This upset’s Dee and she then scolds her mother and sister stating that they do not understand what their heritage is. Dee then leaves the scene with her boyfriend while Maggie and Mama watch abroad. This would be classified as the turning point of the story because it shows that Maggie is Mama’s favorite child, despite all of her personal flaws.

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