Point Of View In "Luck" Essay

858 words - 3 pages

"Luck" is a short story by the brilliant American novelist Mark Twain. In this story, readers learn about the life of Scoresby, a military hero, through the depiction of a clergyman who was once an instructor in a military academy. This was actually a story within another story. As a matter of fact, an unnamed narrator retells the story he once heard from the clergyman. This story is told in the first person point of view. In the first person point of view, the narrator participates in the
action of the story, but it is biased and limited view. Therefore, the reader should question the trustworthiness of the account. From the account of the narrator, the reader learns that as a young man in the military academy, Scoresby was not bright. So out of charity, the clergyman cheated to help him pass his examinations. However, the clergyman was certain that a student so stupid could not pass any examination, not even when he is favored. Afterward, on the battlefield, during the Crimean War, Scoresby made quite a few blunders, which ironically earned him honors and acclamations. The use of the first person point of view in this particular story is meant to help the reader understand thoroughly the character of Scoresby and to make the account appealing. This story features the point of view of the clergyman and that of the narrator; however, one can hardly trust their judgements.

All through the story, the clergyman gives his point of view about Scoresby. For instance, in the second paragraph, the clergyman clearly states, "he's an absolute fool." Then he goes on to explain his point of view. By means of quite a few examples, the clergyman, who is "a man of strict veracity and whose judgement of men is good" (paragraph 3), sheds the light on the absolute foolishness of Scoresby. The clergyman recounts the events going back to the time Scoresby was a young student in the military academy at Woolwich. He demonstrates the stupidity of Scoresby in paragraph 4: "I was touched to the quick with pity, for the rest of the class answered up brightly and handsomely, while he--why, dear me, he didn't know anything, so to speak." According to the clergyman, Scoresby was so foolish that the clergyman was inclined to cheat out of compassion for this "evidently good, and sweet, and lovable, and guileless" young man (paragraph 4), teaching Scoresby the questions that would be used on exams. Surprisingly, the foolish Scoresby passed his examinations with flying colors. Moreover, the...

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