Shirley Hazzard Writing Styles in The Great Fire

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Point of View

The author introduces the character of Aldred in Part 1 by combining the voice of a narrator with Aldred's personal account added throughout. As the story progresses, and the focus changes, this narrative and first person account alters to use the voice of the primary character in each chapter and Part. Peter becomes the focal character in the first chapter of Part 2, and it is through his eyes that the reader experiences Hong Kong. In the final chapters, it is Helen Driscoll and the experience of New Zealand that are examined. This shifting method of narration can best be described as limited omniscient.

"Omniscient narration" refers to an all-knowing, all seeing point of view; "limited omniscient" narration occurs when multiple characters exhibit the omniscient trait for the telling of their own tales. While no one character can know everything that has gone before, or infer what might...

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This section contains 1,032 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Great Fire Study Guide
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