Donald Barthelme Writing Styles in At the Tolstoy Museum

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Point of View

This story is written in first-person perspective. Most of the story is written in past and present tense, but the final lines are in future tense.

The first-person narration is from the perspective of a visitor to the museum. For example, the story begins with, “At the Tolstoy Museum, we sat and wept” (109). This implies that the narration will be limited to a specific museum visitor and possibly a group that he is accompanying. However, the first-person limited narration broadens to include more omniscient characteristics. For example, the narrator describes what occurs in the “basement” (113) of the museum. If the narrator is merely a visitor, he has no reason to know what occurs in the areas of the museum he has not seen. However, since the narrator does know about areas of the museum that would not be accessible to visitors, it can be concluded...

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This section contains 1,125 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the At the Tolstoy Museum Study Guide
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