Garth Greenwell Writing Styles in What Belongs to You

Garth Greenwell
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Point of View

The story is told from the first-person, past-tense perspective of its unnamed narrator, a young (mid-thirties) gay American man living and teaching in Sofia, Bulgaria. Each of these qualities of this character’s identity is relevant to his point of view as he tells his story.

First, the fact that he is unnamed evokes, and connects to, the sense of shame that he feels about his sexuality and his relationship with Mitko that he repeatedly refers to throughout the narrative. There is a sense that in his mind, if he does not give himself a name, then he cannot be known, and therefore his shame can remain private. His relative youth connects to a certain naivety that threads through the narrative, a sense of innocence and surprise at how people in general, and Mitko in particular, can treat others so badly. His same-sex orientation connects...

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This section contains 1,238 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the What Belongs to You Study Guide
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