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The University of Victorias Hypertext Writers Guide defines the term point of view as, "the perspective from which a narrative is presented" (Keller 1). Another definition is, "point of view refers to who tells us the story and how it is told" (Meyer 174). There are two main perspectives an author can use (TO DO WHAT). The first is called a first person narrative. In this perspective the narrator, or "the character who is telling the story" (Keller 1), uses the word I (ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO USE ITALICS FOR "I") when narrating the story. The second for of point of view is the third person narrative.
The narrator in this type narrative uses the words he, she, and they when reporting the events. In "The Lady With The Pet Dog" the author, Joyce Carol Oates uses different aspects of the third person point of view to tell (TELL THE STORY WITH A FEMALE POINT OF VIEW or FEMALE PERSPECTIVE) the female side of the story. "The Lady With The Pet Dog" is broken down into three distinct sections. In the first section, Joyce Carol Oates uses the third person perspective. The type of narrator used in this section is called a limited omniscient narrator. (Using this style of narration, the author) This style of narrator is where, "the author very often restricts the narration to the single perspective of either a major or minor character" (Meyer 175).
Matthew Brennan, the writer of "Point of View and Plotting In Chekhov's (Goofy sentence - too many ands, Im confused) and Oates The Lady With The Pet Dog", states, "Oates makes Anna S. , the female lover, the center of consciousness" (213). The nameless narrator (Brings the reader into) takes us in the thoughts and eyes of the female of the story. In this section, the narrator (describes) tells of the female characters thoughts as she sees her lover in a crowded concert hall: Strangers parted as if to make way for him. There he stood. He was there in the aisle, a few yards away, watching her. She leaned forward at once in her seat, her hand jerked up to her face as if to ward off a blow -- but then the crowd in the aisle hid him.
He was gone. She pressed both hands against her cheeks. He was not here, she had imagined him. (200). The next section, continues to use the nameless limited omniscient narrator. This section flashbacks to six months before and (continues to) works back to the morning after the opening section. In this Oates gives a vague perception of the climax in the concert hall, "one evening they went to a concert and she looked up to see her lover there in the crowded aisle, in this city, watching her she went cold" (203).
Joyce Carol Oates uses stream of consciousness narration throughout this section. Stream of consciousness points of view are described as, "any lengthy passages of introspection in literature; whereas interior monologue denotes a narrative entirely in a wandering, introspective style" (Keller 1), An example of this form is after her lover and (who are you talking about) her talk on the telephone, "flesh hardening on his body, aging. Shrinking. He will grow old, but not soft like her husband. They are two different types... " (Meyer 204).
The narrator again goes inside mind of the main female, using stream of consciousness narration, to show she is slipping from reality. She starts combining her lover and husband. At the end of this section she does not know who she is sleeping with, .".. he will grow old, his body will change, she thought, pressing her cheek against the back of one of these men" (204). As the last section starts the narrator gives a name to the female character of the story, Anna.
This section begins, flashing back to Anna and her lovers first meeting. Here the narrator roughly explains, through a dialogue between Anna and her lover, the title of the story, "She picked one of her with the dog [his golden retriever] in her lap, sitting very straight, her brows and eyes clearly defined, her lips girlishly pursed, the dog and her dress suggested by a few quick irregular lines. Lady with pet dog the man said" (207). Like the first and second sections, the narrator retells the climatic scene from the concert hall in a different manner. In this section, Oates writes this scene briefly but adds two details, a specific month and place. The narrator says, "In January her lover spied on her: she glanced up and saw him, in a public place, in the De Roy Symphony Hall.
She was paralyzed with fear. She nearly fainted" (209). In the story, Joyce Carol Oates uses another stream of consciousness narrative to resolve the plot: This man was her husband, truly -- they were truly married, here in this room -- they had been married haphazardly and accidentally for a long time. In another part of the city she had another husband, a (is this a duplication of the word husband a quote.
The sentence is confusing) "husband" but she had not betrayed that man, not really. This man whom she loved above any other person in the world above even her own self pitying sorrow and her life, truest lover, her destiny. And she did not hate him, she did not hate herself any longer; she did not wish to die; she was flooded with a strange certainty, a sense of gratitude, of pure selfless energy. It was obvious to her that she had, all along, been behaving correctly; out of instinct (212). "The Lady With The Pet Dog" is told (is written not is told) using the third person perspective.
Joyce Carol Oates expresses the female perspective on infidelity and adultery. Oates accomplishes this through a nameless limited omniscient narrator, who in all three sections recounts the climax at the symphony hall through different types of descriptions. Stream of consciousness narratives are also used throughout the last two sections, to allow the reader to get a deeper understanding of who Anna really is. Through these narrations, Joyce Carol Oates portrays Anna as a mentally unstable woman whom originally feels guilty, but in the end realizes he is her one true love. In conclusion Oates uses different aspects of point of view to tell Annas take on her adulterous life.
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