MacDonald, Patricia J. Writing Styles in Stranger in the House

MacDonald, Patricia J.
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Point of View

The novel is written in the present tense and the limited third person. Although the novel often shifts between character perspectives, the narration remains limited to one character’s perspective at a time. The principal characters whose perspectives are featured in the novel are Tom, Karen, Brigid, and Rasbach. The novel shifts rapidly between these perspectives so as to track the parallel developments in each character's specific narratives.

Because the psychological and emotional states of the characters are so integral to the overall story, the narration provides a close focus on the characters’ interior lives. Although the narration is in the third person, its often directly conveys the characters emotional states using techniques such as free indirect discourse. For example, in the novel’s opening scene, the narration focuses on the sense of panic that heavily pervades Karen’s mental state: “She doesn’t belong...

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This section contains 650 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stranger in the House Study Guide
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