Bruce Chatwin Writing Styles in The Viceroy of Ouidah

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The novel is told in the third person by the author as narrator. The entire story is in past tense and the author roams freely in the minds of his characters, describing what they think. Despite this omniscience, Chatwin does not go deeply into the emotional lives of his characters. Often, he describes their reactions to situations in terms that are tactile or otherwise sensuous, or action-oriented. He tells what they do and think but rarely attempts to describe what they feel, other than such sensuous feelings as being hot or thirsty. The reader is left to imagine the emotional lives of the characters through what they do, or with the help of simple adjectival descriptors. For example, a character might cry or wail, or Chatwin might even describe a character as sorrowful or enraged. Such descriptions make it easy for the reader to understand the...

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This section contains 1,231 words
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