Alan Paton Writing Styles in Too Late the Phalarope

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Paton's use of Sophie as the story's narrator is unusual because she is a secondary character yet has special knowledge of Pieter's thoughts and feelings by virtue of having Pieter's diary as a resource. Consequently, she is in a position to tell the reader about events and conversations that happened outside her personal experience.

Although she is a secondary character, Sophie is a reliable narrator for three reasons. First, she includes excerpts from Pieter's diary to support what she is saying. Second, she explains early in the novel that because of her facial disfigurement, she has always been slightly apart from everyone else, even in her own family. This unique position has enabled her to become an especially keen observer of those around her. It is Sophie, after all, who suspects something is happening between Pieter and Stephanie simply because of a look she notices that Stephanie...

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This section contains 942 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Too Late the Phalarope Study Guide
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