The Faithful Wife by Barbara L. Greenberg
“The Faithful Wife”, written by Barbara L. Greenberg, uses first-person narration to depict the style, language, and theme of the poem. By using first-person narration, Barbara Greenberg was able to portray events and ideas very persuasively to the reader. In addition, this first-person narrator creates dramatic irony concerning the title in reference to the body of the poem.
The reader from the start is aware of the point of view that the poem is being told in. The first sentence is “But if I”, which shows the narrator is in first person. By using first-person the readers are able to have the confidence that the events being told are believable because they come from a first hand character and not a third person unreliable character who could misdirect the reader. The narrator presents a theme using her imaginary lover with the excerpt “But if I were to have a lover, it would be someone who could take nothing from you.” This would be much more difficult and not remotely have the same effect if it was done in any other perspective. The reader gains trust and can connect better when the writing is in first person. Emotion is expressed with more energy and force with this perspective and is evident with the concluding sentence, “with my other body, the one that you have never asked to see.” Third-person perspective wouldn’t compare in having the same effect with that last strong sentence. As the reader, we are not sure if the narrator is the author of the piece or if she created a persona. By using a persona, or narrator, she is able to stretch the inventive boundaries of her pieces.
Barbara Greenberg made a decision to use first-person point of view to achieve the right interpretation from the reader. Using this strategy she was able to define one and only one meaning to the events that took place. The story would have totally different meanings if it were done with a different point of view. “My lover would blame me for his heart’s distress” and “I would dance with him, but to a music you and I would...