Analyse and Evaluate the Narrative Strategies Used in Mario Vargas Llosa's La fiesta del Chivo

Essay by hilda2009University, Bachelor'sA, February 2010

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Vargas Llosa uses various narrative techniques in his novel La fiesta del Chivo. The novel is mainly narrated in the third person but at times it changes to the second person narrator. A third person narrator is usually omniscient and privileged and stands outside the story recounting events. This means that we believe what we are told and trust the narrator as we are not expecting him to pass judgement. It is as though we have a pact with a third person narrator to give us reliable and true information. But Vargas Llosa’s narrator is not always reliable. He sometimes tries to pass judgement through his narrator by slipping in opinions:‘[La señora Cavaglieri] no mostraba la menor aprensión por alojar en su casa a un desconocido, asesino del amo supremo del país, al que miles de guardias y policías buscaban con codicia y odio.’ (La fiesta del Chivo, p.536).

In the above quotation a judgement is being made in the form of a generalised comment about the greed and hate of the police. This is the narrator’s (or/and Vargas Llosa’s) opinion of the police so this little detail is a signal to the readers that what they are being told by the narrator is not necessarily the truth. Vargas Llosa therefore breaks the pact we have with the third person narrator to be given an objective account of the story. This has a subliminal effect and makes the readers take up the same stand point as the narrator. We do not question whether the police force really did feel hatred and greed; we just accept it and are therefore forced not to like them and to have sympathy for Antonio Imbert, who is the one being hidden in señora Cavaglieri’s apartment. Vargas Llosa does not always provide...