With reference to "Maria" and "The Writer in the Family", compare how the author has enabled readers to perceive a character from different perspectives.

Essay by eatburgersHigh School, 10th gradeC, September 2007

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Both the two stories, "Maria", and "The Writer in the Family", have made use of similar and different perspectives in shaping a character and making it materialize right before readers. Maria and Jonathan can be taken as examples.

An important difference in perspectives of the Writer in the Family and Maria may probably be that the first story is of first person narration and the latter of third person narration. Different narration views may lead readers into deriving the characteristics of the figures in a story. In the Writer in the Family, Jonathan is more of a gentle boy, very mild and maintains peace, always remaining neutral in a conflict. He is more of a thinking boy rather than an action type. Therefore, in getting to know more about him, a first person narration is a needed. The Writer in the Family emphasizes on the tug-of-war Jonathan has with pleasing everyone while maintaining peace, and the regret and guilt of him for not knowing his father well enough before he died.

These deep thoughts can only be exposed to the reader when the character talks about them himself primarily. When Jonathan is not trying to take any sides in the conflict between Aunt Frances and his mother, he thinks to himself "Each side defended its position with rhetoric, but I, who wanted peace, rationalized the snubs and rebuffs each inflicted on the other, taking no stands, like my father himself". It is very clear and readers could directly reach into the core of the story and get to know about Jonathan's characters - pacific, mild and good-natured. On the contrary, in the story Maria, a third person narration is chosen. Maria, when compared to Jonathan, is a very active girl. Actions, for her, "speak louder than words". Her perpetual...