Michael Ondaatje Writing Styles in The Cat's Table

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Point of View

The opening pages of "The Cat's Table" are told in third person, from the viewpoint of an unnamed 11 year-old boy who is about the take a sea voyage. But the viewpoint quickly shifts to first person, when the narrator looks back at himself on the ship from the vantage point of years in the future. The rest of the novel is told in first person, but initially the narrator remains unnamed. Eventually, he is given the nickname "Mynah" by two other boys on the ship, and not long after that, it is revealed that his true name is Michael. This gradual sharpening of the viewpoint, from third to first person, from anonymous to nicknamed to a true name, creates the impression that the novel could be significantly influenced by actual events, since the author's name also is Michael. As the story progresses, the author intensifies this...

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This section contains 1,021 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Cat's Table Study Guide
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