The Wanting Seed Style
Point of View
In this novel, Anthony Burgess alternates between the points of view of his two main characters, Tristram and Beatrice-Joanna Foxe. He goes into the thoughts of both characters, but only sparingly. For the most part, he shows what they are thinking and feeling by depicting what they do and say. In that sense, the novel largely employs a dramatic viewpoint, enhanced by the consistent use of third person. The book is dominated by dialogue and action. Either Tristram or Beatrice-Joanna is present in almost every scene, but they sometimes are mere onlookers as other characters come to the fore. The author's choice of third person gives him distance from the characters, which is important, because both protagonists are flawed people. By avoiding the use of first person and by not delving deeply into the thoughts of his two protagonists, Burgess refrains from either judging or empathizing with these damaged characters....