Reading Fiction – Lecture 3
Omniscient 3 Person: Assumes the point of view of an all-knowing narrator, can also enter into the
mind of the characters, and we can know things that other characters do not know.
The omniscient voice is ironic – Austen is famous for ridiculing everything – a wink to the reader.
Irony: contradiction or incongruity between appearance or expectation and reality.
Irony of the 1 sentence in Pride and Prejudice:
The sentence states that men want marriage, when really it is the women who long for marriage.
Irony on page 99, Austen makes fun of Mrs. Bennet when she says “gentle murmurs” when Mrs. Bennet
is actually a loud and obnoxious character.
Irony on pages 128-129, Austen makes fun of Lady Catherine’s sense of mastery when she says how
Lady Catherine is determining the weather.
Free Indirect Discourse: When a texts dominant narrative style (3 person past tense) incorporates for
brief snatches or longer passages, words emanating from a particular character without such tags as “he
said” “she said” to make their attributes explicit. The narrator is vocalizing through characters, the
character and narrator momentarily merge. Example of this on pages 96-97.
Dialogue: the way characters speak and talk shows us their character. On