Unreliable Narrator From the perspective of how figures of speech help to characterize in Love is a Fallacy An unreliable narrator is a narrator whose credibility has been seriouly compromised in fictions (as implemented in literature, film, theatre, etc). It is a narrator whose account of events appears to be faulty, misleadingly biased, or otherwise distorted, so that it departs from the “ture” understanding of events shared between the reader and the implied author. The discrepancy between the unreliable narrator’s view of events and the view that readers suspect to be more accurate creates a sense of irony.
The term does not necessarily mean that such a narrator is morally untrustworthy or a habitual liar, since the category also includes harmlessly naive, or ill-informed narrators. A classic cases is Huck in Mark Twain’s Adventure of Huckleberry Finn. He is too young to understand the events he is relating and commenting on. Sometimes we can immediately see the nature of the narrator.
For example, a story may open with the narrator making a plainly false or delusional claim or admitting to being severly mentally ill, or the story itself may have a frame in which the narrator appears as a character, with clues to his unreliability.
And there are other ways of presenting the narrator: to delay the revelation in the middle of the story as well as delay it until near the end. It is obvious that the authors want to express some certain idea by the unreliable narrator and let the readers to search during their reading process, which requirs a reading capacity within readers. But they can find out the right idea of the author only through the well characterized protagonist. Here I will try to analyse the function of figures of speech on characterizing an unreliable narrator in the text Love is a Fallacy.
Figures of speech can best demonstrate the artistic charm and effect of literary works. They can also do good to the characterization of a particular role. In the text Love is a Fallacy the author characterized a narrator Dobie Gillis, who is a freshman in Law school. As a narrator, he acted too confidently, even from the beginning of the text our eyes are filled up with his own words of fulsome praise of himself:”Cool was I and logical. Keen, calculating, perspicacious, acute and astute—I was all of this.
My brain was was as powerful as a dynamo, as precise as a chemist’s scales, as penetrating as a scapel. ” Here many simile were employed to strengthen the arrogant portait of the narrator. And we can also interpret some exaggeration from the introduction of himself, a man’s brain cannot work as something like machine, however his character was represented vividly. The opening of the text also leave us a forshadowing of satire keynote. And in the following sentences of the opening paragraphs, we can find many periodic sentences which in turns give us suspenses as well as clear up them.
When writing about the roommate of Dobbie from his own prejudice point of view, the author use many single words rather than tedious sentences to project the negative impression on the roommate whose name is Petey. For example, “Emotional type, unstable, impressionable”, “worst of all, a faddist”. Then we go on reading to the story part, when he decided to change his father’s raccoon coat to Petey’s girl friend—Polly. Dobbie planned to get Polly in two steps. The first one is to try to make the raccoon coat as a bait to exchange it for the chance to go out with Polly.
And then try to convince Polly to “go steady with him”, because he believes that rational and logical deduction can help him win love, wich is emotional and usually irrational. In the first process, he made a talk and had figured out the strong desire of raccoon coat of Petey. Although he knew that raccoon coat has lots of flaws—“Raccoon coats a unsanitary. They shed. They smell bad. They weigh too much. They are unsightly”. (the flaws were expressed in balanced sentences which can easily draw the readers’ attention and leave a deep impression). To be followed, the writer wrote a “They—”, which is a figure of speech called Mimesis.
By employing Mimesis, it imitates a particular way of speaking. Here, it means that there are more flaws to be counted in and make the readers think more. in the second process, as taking about the heroin—Polly, the author employed hyperbaton. “beautiful she was. She was not a pin-up proportions……”, in this way we were showed that the narrator mainly focus on the external beauty of Polly and will consider his words and reactions in critical ways. In the falling action part, when Dobbie explain his affection towards Polly, he said, “Polly, I love you.
You are the whole world to me, and the moon and the stars and the constellations of outer space. Please, my darling, say that you will go steady with me, for if you will not, life will be meaningless. I will languish. I will refuse my meals. I will wander the face of the earth, a shambling, hollow-eyed hulk”. In this purple patch paragraph, Dobbie uses anaphora, hyperbaton as well as silime to describe Polly’s importance to him. By using balanced sentences, he can organize the logical order of showing his favor, however, it just went to the contrary, because of the hyperbaton he employed.
By using these figures of speech, the image of a arrogant and selfish student was clearly drawn. And we are pretty clear of his unreliability. Throughout the content, I find out that hyperbaton is the most useful way of characterizing an unreliable narrator. No matter from the beginning of the text where Dobbie introduced himself confidently, to the end where he eagerly want to express his feelings to Polly and his flustered and exasperated personal attack against Petey, we can read exaggerated similes, metaphors, conceit, etc. All of these helped a lot in characterize Dobbie—the very narrator who is unreliale.
And also helped we readers to interpret the role in our own point of view. Given that people tend to interpret literature works in way that themselves benefit most, the unreliable narration is the strengthening of the role of readers and a reducing role of narrator and the author, moreover, it focuses on the interpretation of the readers, which can allow readers to understand the content in their own ways. There are various ways of demonstrating this kind of narration, however, as far as we can read from the lesson, figures of speech work the most.
Cite this Criticism on Love Is a Fallacy
Criticism on Love Is a Fallacy. (2019, May 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/criticism-on-love-is-a-fallacy/