Jean Hanff Korelitz Writing Styles in The Devil and Webster

Jean Hanff Korelitz
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Point of View

The Devil and Webster is narrated almost entirely by a present-tense, third person narrator close to Naomi Roth’s consciousness. This narrator uses free indirect discourse to communicate Naomi’s internal thoughts, emotions, and reactions without Naomi actually becoming a first person narrator. The use of free indirect discourse allows Naomi’s internal thoughts to appear as if conveyed by an objective narrator, thus giving them, perhaps unwarranted, authority as fact. Because of this, the reader must remain vigilant to detect when the narration of a scene is being affected by Naomi’s prejudices or emotional state.

The use of a third person narrator, rather than having Naomi narrate her own story, is significant; a third person narrator, however affected by the protagonist’s consciousness, automatically appears less subjective than a first person narrator. A reader, then, is less likely to question the validity or...

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This section contains 1,353 words
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Buy The Devil and Webster Study Guide
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