Brian, The Still Hunter And Its Wavering Image Analysis

2016 words - 9 pages

In “Brian, the Still Hunter” and “Its Wavering Image” Susanna Moodie and Edith Eaton use focalization and narrative voice to show the unreliability and subjectivity of life. They do this by slowly developing the narrative voice of Brian and Pan and limiting the perception of the reader.
The development of the narrative voices of both Brian and Pan allows the reader to understand the narrative through the character's emotions. In the beginning of both stories, both of the characters' narrative voices are almost non-existent. This forces the reader to make subjective assumptions on certain aspects of the story that cannot be answered by those characters, and thus those characters do eventually develop their narrative voices and answer those questions for the reader. Limiting the perception of the reader in both narratives causes the reader to question the unreliability of the narrator, and question the narrative's overall truths.
In “Brian, the Still Hunter” by Susanna Moodie, Brian was a man who was narrated as a quiet, mysterious character. The reader would process the same things as the writer and as well the reader would learn as the writer does. Brian is made to be quiet by the narrator, leaving the uncovering of his identity to be subjective to the reader. After the narrator is given a background on Brian's history, she met him again as he comes for milk, “A nod without raising his head, or taking his eyes off the fire, was my only answer; and turning from my unsociable guest' (Moodie 8). At this point Brian's narrative voice is nonexistent, the writer and reader have not heard his story from Brian himself, but rather others who have made observations of him. This is solely because as the writer is unfamiliar with Brian, so is the reader; he is not comfortable sharing his thoughts and feelings. The narrator continued monitoring the silence of Brian, “For weeks did my strange friend steal silently in, take up the empty jar, and supply its place another, replenished with milk” (Moodie 12). Without the narrator having yet interact with Brian, he is still mysterious to the reader. To be aware of what Brian thinks or what story he has to tell, the reader learns all of this through the narrator. As the narrator avoids interaction with Brian, the reader is left with a subjective and unreliable opinion on Brian. As each time Brian came in to get milk, he slowly developed his urge to talk to the narrator and felt comfortable with the reader as well. Eventually the narrator interacted with Brian and he attempted to explain his life to both the writer and reader, “I hated myself; and in order to free myself from the tyranny of of evil passions, I did a very rash and foolish action” (Moodie 13). This is when both the narrator and reader first encounter the development of Brian's narrative voice. Brian had become comfortable with the people he was around, and told his story. Brian slowly starts to change as a person, he is no longer a quiet and...

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