Essay on Brian, the Still Hunter and Its Wavering Image Analysis

Essay on Brian, the Still Hunter and Its Wavering Image Analysis

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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, ...


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...and “Its Wavering Image” Susanna Moodie and Edith Eaton attempt to control the attention of the reader by leaving questions and ambiguity for the reader. This is done by slowly developing the narrative voice of Brian as his suicidal story is told by another character. From this, subjective assumptions are made by both narrator and reader without confirmation as to why he tried to commit suicide. Later on, Brian becomes more comfortable and shares his story to explain his reasoning. Pan's narrative voice was elusive when she was questioned about her identity, as she wanted to avoid debate on that subject. She reaches a point where she finally spoke up against Mark Carson and tells him that she is a Chinese woman while he is a white man. Limiting the perception of the reader in both narratives resulted in subjectivity for the reader and unreliability of the narrator.

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