Point of View Contrasts in "Miss Brill" and "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

Essay by jumper_34 April 2002

download word file, 4 pages 4.3

In creating a literary work, writers use a variety of narrative techniques to create an intriguing story. Many times the point of view of a story can help illuminate aspects of a character. One example, limited omniscient point of view, focuses on one main character and allows the reader to know what that character is thinking and feeling. In both Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and Katherine Mansfield's "Miss Brill," the stories are told in limited a limited omniscient point of view in order to illuminate a change, or lack thereof, in the main character.

In " A Good Man is Hard to Find," the omniscient point of view helps the audience to see the transformation of the grandmother. We know whose story this is in the first two lines, "the grandmother didn't want to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tennessee and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey's mind"(352).

[Because we are given background information about what happens and not given any biased internal thoughts--we know that it's limited omniscient because we are in her head but no one else's], we know that the point view is omniscient and limited to the grandmother. The only action we see throughout the story is given limited to the view of the grandmother. We see her judgmental thoughts as she says "the children's mother still had on slacks and still had her hair tied up in a green kerchief"(353). Yet she how the grandmother dresses makes her a lady. After the family turns off onto the dirt road, we see the grandmother's thoughts as she realizes that she that she had made a mistake about where the house was. "She turned red in...