John Banville Writing Styles in The Sea

This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Sea.
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Point of View

In purely technical terms, the novel is written in the first person from the perspective of the narrator - a middle-aged man having an intense experience of reliving his past. As the narrator himself writes, "The past beats inside [him] like a second heart." In other words, the past lives with him, is more alive to him, than the present is. What's particularly noteworthy in this context is the way in which past and present blend. There are frequent occasions in which the point of view shifts from first person past (narrating the stories) into first person present (living the stories). More often than not, this shift in tense occurs when the narrator's experience of the past is particularly emotionally powerful - but what's interesting to note is that these shifts don't necessarily occur at moments the reader might expect. Chloe's death, Anna's death...

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This section contains 1,469 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Sea Study Guide
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