Abby L. likes how the narrator improves her opinion of characters
In the book “The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse” by
William Saroyan, I found that the point of view was first person. It was evident in the very first paragraph when the narrator Aram said “ONE day back there in the good old days when I was nine and the world was full of every imaginable kind of magnificence…”. Obviously, since the narrator used ‘I’, it means that the story is in first person. So I decided to dig deeper and find how the use of first person improves the story.
I think the use of first person helps improve Mourad’s character by making him seem like a nicer/better person.When a narrator has an opinion about a character, the reader tends to have the same opinion. Therefore, because Aram thinks highly of his cousin, you want to think highly of him too. “My cousin Mourad put his arms around the horse, pressed his nose into the horse’s nose, patted it, and then we went away.” When I hear this, I think of Mourad as a more likable character because of his connection with the horse. “..My cousin Mourad, who was considered crazy by everybody who knew him except me…” Because of this line the reader believes that Mourad is not as crazy as everyone else thinks because Aram thinks he is sane. “It wasn’t stealing. It wouldn’t become stealing until we offered to sell the horse, which of course, I knew we would never do.” This line makes Mourad seem more trustworthy because Aram thinks he is honest. Since Aram trusts his cousin Mourad, the reader wants to trust him too. He becomes a better person because of the narrator’s opinions of him.
So, what makes a narrator trustworthy? It’s easy to see the qualities of an unreliable narrator, but what about one that you instantly trust? Well, you can sometimes find your trust in the opening paragraphs. Many unreliable narrators admit to insanity instantly, or say something that is completely insane and could never possibly be backed up by fact. Lots of good narrators are backed up with good solid fact. They make you feel good and they know how to tell a story so that you are a part of it and can understand it well. Aram is a very good narrator. He is someone who I trust to tell me the story. That’s why I believe him when he talks about Mourad being a good character.
Original image: ‘Galloping‘