Analysis Of The Point Of View In Max Berry's Machine Man

1001 Words 4 Pages
One of the most underrated literary elements in the culture of writing is the point of view from which a story, poem, or piece of literature is told. This, often singular, viewpoint can either make or break an author’s work. It is essentially the frame that provides a structure for every other element of the story to be built upon. In Max Berry’s Machine Man, it is the point of view that influences the development of the novel in the most crucial of ways. Not only does the story being told from the point of view of Charles Nuemann, the forward-thinking and insatiable scientist behind his own self-improvement campaign, lend volumes to the theme expressed, but it also contributes to the reader’s understanding of the novel and answers the question …show more content…
In this story, Max Barry writes about an incredibly different yet strangely realistic and plausible topic. What makes the novel so strange, however, is not the topic itself, but more the viewpoint from which it is presented and relayed across the page. From anyone else but Dr. Nuemman’s point of view, this would be a simple tale of a scientist who screwed up, got his leg chopped off, got a prosthetic, made it better, became obsessed with improving the human body, and worked in this field before meeting his eventual demise. Yet this is not the case. Barry writes “I hesitated. She seemed convincing. But then again, I was an extraordinarily poor judge of people” and from this it is immediately obvious that, without it, so much less would be understood of Dr. Nuemann’s reaction (Barry 152). It is exactly this insight that is spread throughout the whole novel and thus provides the reader with a heightened knowledge of the main characters thoughts and emotions. This allows for an entirely new story to be created around the simple step by step progression that is the backbone of the novel. Therefore, if this story were not written in this point of view, the reader would be excluded from the opportunity to understand the true life of Dr. Charles Nuemann and not just the series of events that have taken place. Because this story is told through the eye of the beholder, a new element and …show more content…
Barry could have easily chose to tell this piece in 3rd person with an omniscient narrator, but he didn’t. He didn’t because there is something about knowing a characters thoughts, from their own mouth, that connects the reader to that character even more than just hearing them from someone else. It introduces a personal connection exclusive to the one reading the novel. In this case, it allows the reader to bond with Dr. Nuemann and experience his emotions and views firsthand. This is especially important to this work in particular because of its dealings with Charles’ own body. To be able to relay such vital feelings and decisions Nuemann feels and makes through any other point of view would be not only exhausting, but also inefficient and, realistically, impossible. It hard to say it any other way, but this truly was the only way Max Barry could write what he really wanted to write about. Otherwise, his message and warning of the dangers of technology could have never been expressed in such a way that makes the reader realize its true significance in the modern world.
Evident in every “I” or “my” printed, the first person viewpoint chosen in Machine Man is easily the most significant choice Max Barry had to take when it came to writing his tale. Unfolding the story from this viewpoint did so much as far as helping reinforce the theme and plot. With the interworking’s of an

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