The Tiger's Wife Short Essay - Answer Key

Téa Obreht
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1. Describe the narrative style of The Tiger's Wife. Is the story related from a first, second, or third-person point of view? Is the narrator involved in the action of the story?

For the most part, the novel is narrated from the first person past tense point of view - specifically, from the perspective of Natalia, its central character and protagonist who, it seems, is exploring all these stories and all these events, playing out on multiple timelines, in an effort to understand both herself and her grandfather. At times, the narration shifts to the grandfather's point of view, primarily in the stories he relates to Natalia.

2. Discuss the setting of the novel. Where is the story set? What clues in the narrative indicate the setting? What time period does the story take place in?

While the land in question is never specifically identified, there are very clear indications that the story, in all time periods, is set in the area of Eastern Europe known as The Balkans - the former Yugoslavia and the former Czechoslovakia. These indications include character names and place names as well as certain traditions and beliefs. The main storyline of Natalia takes place in the relative present, while the grandfather's stories take place over the past century.

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