Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Writing Styles in Elective Affinities;

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Point of View

Elective Affinities is told primarily from a third-person, omniscient narrator's point of view. This narrator is most definitely Victorian. Most events are peppered with asides commenting on the moral state of affairs, the implications of etiquette, or the importance of staying in one's proper place according to class. The narrator seems to worship the sanctity and function of marriage but also presents permanent marriage as incompatible with the demands of true love. Although the narrator paints a picture in which passions are dangerous and lead to ruin, the narrator also concludes with true sentimentality.

The narrator, in addition to knowing what is going on at a given moment, can see into various characters' thoughts, and discern their motivations. Indeed, the narrator knows the motivations of the characters better than they know themselves. This is partly because the narrator already knows how the story will end. There...

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This section contains 1,432 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Elective Affinities; Study Guide
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