Task 3A: Point of view in "A Kestrel for a Knave"

In Task 3A, you are asked to write an essay in which you compare and contrast the point of view in "Extract 1: A Kestrel for a Knave” with the point of view in one of the English-language literary texts you have studied. You also have to discuss the effects of the different points of view in each text.

Summary: “A Kestrel for a Knave”

Extract 1 introduces readers to a scene from the novel “A Kestrel for a Knave” (1968) by English writer Barry Hines. The events take place in a boys’ school assembly hall, where the boys are lined up in order to sing a religious hymn called “New every morning is the love”. The head teacher, Mr Gryce, is angry because the daily prayer is interrupted by the boys coughing. Everyone – including the teachers – tries to be silent, but a cough is heard again. A teacher called Mr Crossley drags out a boy from the crowd, believing that he disrupted the assembly with his cough. Angry, the head teacher demands the lad to go to the teacher’s room.

Point of view

The extract you have to analyse is written from the point of view of a third-person narrator. The narrator only functions as an observer and seems to be detached from the events; he does not belong either to the group of students or to the group of teachers. The third-person narrator has l...

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