Essay on The Agency by Y.S Lee

1057 Words 5 Pages
Historical fiction shapes a plot and characters on real events, settings, and people that happened in the past. Y.S. Lee’s The Agency, is an example of historical fiction which is based in the Victorian era. In the text, a female detective agency exists whose goal is to expose the scandalous secrets of some of the wealthiest in Britain. The plot is created through combining historical facts with fiction which makes it believable for the reader. Beginning with examining the narrator is crucial for beginning the analysis of this novel. The narrator, along with the principle characters, have a contemporary view on the world which makes it simplistic for the reader to comprehend. The Agency requires the reader to think critically about what …show more content…
Differentiating historical details from those that are fabricated is not simplified by their introduction as Y.S. Lee never makes them too intrusive so the reader doesn’t struggle to follow along. When new ideas are introduced, they are done so in a way that their context in the sentence should be enough to determine their meaning. In order to make these historical details contemporary, necessary anachronism is used. Necessary anachronism opens up a window into the past in which characters in The Agency express the feelings and thoughts of real people in the Victorian age in a clearer manner than the actual Victorians could have done. These characters of the past, as well as the narrator are crucial in analyzing this text. In analyzing historical fiction, a fundamental starting point is with the narrator. In The Agency, the plot line is dictated by a third person impersonal narrator who has a limited point of view. An impersonal narrator, one that does not intrude on the plot, has it’s roots in the Victorian era. The narrator is familiar to us, which makes the style of the novel not particularly challenging. This familiarity aspect makes the narrator not completely invisible. Similarly, Mary has a contemporary view which is illustrated by the following text: “Mary found it difficult to believe this polished luxury was built on creaking wooden ships and the backs of

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