Astronomer's Wife Historical Context

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Advances in Narration

"Astronomer's Wife" shows many of the advances and innovations in narration that were commonplace by the 1930s but were revolutionary in their time. Traditional first-person narration came directly from the voice of a character and used "I," while traditional third-person narration came from the voice of a being outside of the story who would describe all, some, one, or none of the character's thoughts. But in the late nineteenth century, a French author named Gustave Flaubert, who is most famous for his novel Madame Bovary, attempted to meld the two types of narration into a form that he called the "free indirect style."

In the free indirect style, the voice of the narrator speaks as someone outside of the character whose thoughts are being described, but at times the voice of the narrator becomes the voice of the character's thoughts—the diction and sentence...

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This section contains 615 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Astronomer's Wife Study Guide
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Astronomer's Wife from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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