Telephone Call By Dorothy Parker

1171 Words5 Pages
Perspective is everything. Looking at a situation from one point of view does not complete the picture. Details are lost in a single side of the story, and others are exaggerated. The story “Telephone Call” by Dorothy Parker is an example of an internal monologue, which is a very limited point of view. It follows the thought process of a woman waiting by the phone, hoping the man she is interested in will call. In an internal monologue, the inner workings of a person’s mind are heard—their deepest feelings, thought progression and specific mindset are detailed without interference from other people. The limited perspective gives insight into what the narrator is feeling and narrows in on her reactions and thoughts. However, since the narrator is having a conversation with herself, little is known about the others mentioned in her monologue, besides what she tells the reader. Assumptions on their character can only be made based off of how she speaks of them. The internal monologue tells a lot about the narrator, since every word is chosen by them and no one else. Emotion is also heightened by internal monologues, with all information confined to the narrator’s mind, bouncing back and forth between the walls of their brain. In an internal monologue, perception of character is narrowed to solely how the narrator interacts with herself and the empathy felt by the reader is intensified. Although the only opinion of the narrator in “Telephone Call” is presented by the narrator herself, much can be told about her character from what she says and how she holds her monologue. As a person, she seems to be very high-strung, using repetition like “Please God. Please, please, please,” (15) and other variations of that phrase often throughou... ... middle of paper ... ...n head. An internal monologue illustrates a narrator as her unadulterated self. In addition to seeing the character pure from the influence of addition voices, the internal monologue confines the story to the walls of the narrator’s brain, so everything they feel, the reader feels. There is no break of dialogue that another type of POV might bring to the narrator’s decent into their problems. The reader experiences only what the narrator is experiencing in their mind and because of this, the emotion felt is more intense. There is no commentary from other characters to interrupt the flow of the narrator’s thoughts and the progression of their feelings, so the reader is pulled right along by their emotions. The story “Telephone Call” would be wildly different if told in a different point of view, and what the reader got out of it would be completely different as well.
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