The Boarded Window Essay

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Brent has a Ph.D. in American Culture, specializing in cinema studies, from the University of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and teaches courses in American cinema. In the following essay, Brent discusses the literary device of the "unreliable narrator" in Bierce's short story.

Ambrose Bierce's short story, "The Boarded Window" is an example of his skillful use of an unreliable narrator to self-consciously illustrate the workings of the oral tradition in the creation of ghost stories. The literary device of the unreliable narrator refers to stories in which the teller of the tale is not to be trusted to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.Rather, the device of the unreliable narrator invites the reader to read between the lines of the story, and to question the narrator's motives in telling it. Often, such stories communicate more about the psychology or...

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This section contains 1,999 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Boarded Window Study Guide
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