Narrator and point of view

The short story “Brackley and the Bed” by Samuel Selvon is told from the point of view of a third-person narrator. The narrator has access to Barkley’s thoughts and feelings. For example, the narrator knows that one of the reasons why Brackley left Tobago was because he did not want to marry Teena (p. 229, ll. 12-13). The narrator also knows about Brackley’s obsession with his bed after he gives it up to Teena (p. 232, ll. 1-5).

The narrator does not have access to other character’s thoughts and feelings. For example, the narrator does not know what Teena thinks when she decides to come to London or when she takes control of Brackley’s apartment. Also, both Brackley and the readers find out about the aunt coming to London only after Teena informs Brackley (p.232, ll.33-34). Therefore, we can say that the narrator is limited, as the narrator only has access to what Brackley knows.

There are instances when the narrator addresses the readers directly: “The reason for that, and the reason why the boys begin to call him Rockabye, you will find out as the ballad goes on” (p. 229, ll. 2-4). This gives the impression that the narrator is telling the story directly to the readers, gaining their interest. It also shows that the narrator knows how the story will end.

The narrator also seems to sympathize with Brackley. For example, when Teena starts changing things in Brackley’s apartment, the narrator refers to the main character as “poor Brackley” (p. 130, l. 5). This could also show the narrator’s ironic attitude, as it is implied several times in the story that Brackley realizes Teena is taking control of his life but does not do anything to stop it from happening....

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