Narrative Perspective In Thomas Hogg's The Story Of The Dalcastles

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Narrative perspective is limited. It is difficult to ever trust the story of a first person narration because such stories provide only a narrow slice of a story and only from the perspective of a single agent. By switching narrative perspective part of the way through Confessions, Hogg provides insight into elements of the first narrative that were confusing or underdeveloped and makes a strong case for the presence of supernatural elements governing the story. The narrator in the first part of the novel does not have any more knowledge of the story than any other person living in the world of the story at that time could have accessed themselves. He opens the narrative with the story of the Dalcastle family and claims he is limited to information he can gather “from history” and therefore must look “to tradition…for the remainder of the motley adventures of that house” (49). He knows only what has been told to him and what seemingly little he has discovered through research. Only the …show more content…
The first narrative is a good summary for people who have never heard the story before, but it is incomplete and mysterious. In order to get a fuller version of the story, Hogg needed to include an account from someone directly involved in the events and therefore provides Robert’s narrative. Robert’s narrative provides important details such as him meeting Gil-Martin that shed light on events that happened in the first narrative. The second narrative positions the murders and Robert’s life more in a supernatural situation, whereas in the first narrative it just seems that Robert is cruel by nature and mentally unstable, not possessed. Robert’s narrative is important because it has not been edited; it is straight from his hand and fills in any gaps that have been created through the process of passing down the story through written and oral

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