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Bernhard Schlink Writing Styles in The Reader

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The novel is written in the first-person limited point of view. Michael Berg, the novel's primary character and protagonist, is also the narrator and in the final chapter claims to be the author of the supposed autobiographical text. This meta-fictional element constructs an artificial credibility within the text, which is supplemented by the authoritative writing.

The first-person point of view, coupled with the fictionally autobiographical construction, gives the text a gritty and believable texture. Michael is a sympathetic character even though he is not, in many ways, a particularly likable character. He is introverted, emotionally distant, and fairly self-centered. Nevertheless, the novel's construction allows Michael to present himself in a favorable light. Also of interest, the character of Hanna Schmitz, an illiterate Nazi war criminal, is constructed to be somewhat sympathetic, because access to her is controlled entirely from Michael's viewpoint. Since Michael finds her sympathetic...

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This section contains 801 words
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