Narrator and point of view

The short story “The Custom” by Charlie Patsauq is told from a third-person, omniscient point of view by an unknown narrator. Through the third-person narration, readers also gain access to the characters’ thoughts, which helps them understand more about the characters and the action.

The narrator’s omniscient point of view can be observed through the fact that he gives insight into the characters’ minds. For example, the narrator states: “The old man knew it was up to his sons whether or not he was to be left behind (…) the old man knew what they were thinking about, abandon or take him?” (p. 217, ll. 5-10). Then, we learn that “Neither of the sons could bring themselves to kick the block away” (p. 218, l. 30). This suggests that the narrator knows how they are feeling. Finally, the thoughts of the community are conveyed by the narrator: ...

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