Writing Techniques in The First Circle

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The First Circle is narrated by an omniscient third-person narrator aware of each character's history, thoughts, and sensations. Like One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, this novel occurs over a short time: the weekend of December 24-26, 1949. At first the book recounts three separate stories: the zeks' life at Mavrino, Innokenty's warning phone call, and the security forces' attempts to track down the telephone traitor. Eventually these plots come together: Teams of zeks work on rival voice identification systems as the fate of Stalin's lieutenants — as well as of Innokenty — depends on which team succeeds.

Although the plots intersect, none of the important characters interact. This structure creates the "polyphonic novel" in which the novelist creates several three-dimensional characters independently. Because their paths do not cross directly, they are equals. They are not subordinated to each other as protagonist, antagonist, or foil.

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This section contains 197 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The First Circle Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The First Circle from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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