Richard Yates (novelist) Writing Styles in The Canal

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Point of view is the angle from which the action of the story is seen. In this case, the story is told in third-person, limited omniscient point of view. The story is told in the third person, and readers are given the inner thoughts of one character, but not the inner thoughts of others. In “The Canal,” readers are allowed to know Lew Miller's thoughts. Most of his memory about the night at the canal is not spoken aloud to Tom and Nancy Brace. The story moves from the past to the present and from Brace's narrated story to the story Miller recalls but chooses not to narrate. As the story progresses, the contrast heightens between the two men: Brace becomes more heroic, more competent, the longer he talks; Miller becomes more focused on his own inadequacy as he reviews his own memory of that night...

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