Writing Styles in A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

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Point of View

Li makes use of two different modes of narrative voice throughout A Thousand Years of Good Prayers: close third person narration and plural first person narration. Every story besides “Immortality” and Persimmons” is narrated through a close third person voice. Close third person narration allows the narrator to speak the thoughts and experiences of one or multiple characters while maintaining the appearance of objectivity, thus allowing individual beliefs to appear as fact. Some of the narrators within this collection focus on one character, such as the narrators who focus on Granny Lin in “Extra,” Sansan in “Love in the Marketplace,” Ruolan in “The Arrangement,” and Mr. Shi in “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers.” Other stories, though, offer the reader multiple characters’ perspectives on the action of the story, giving the reader a more rounded knowledge of the plot and the past events that created...

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This section contains 1,957 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Thousand Years of Good Prayers Study Guide
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