While reading a novel we should look out for some elements that help us better understand the narrative text. First of all we have to consider where and when the story is set. Place setting can be interior or exterior and time setting usually refers to the time of the day, the season, the year. The “story” is the sequence of events that are not always presented in chronological order. the order chosen by the writer is the plot and he also chooses how to tell his story. Sometimes he uses dialogue, sometimes description or narration. The point of view depends on the kind of narrator. the narrator can be a first person narrator coinciding with the author or a character in the novel and it is used to convey an impression of reality. the third person narrator knows everything about the characters’ thoughts and the events so he is called “omniscient”. When he makes personal remarks or comments he is an “obtrusive” narrator but when he is detached and objective and does not interfere, he is “unobtrusive”. A character can be presented ” directly” through the writer’s description of his physical and psychological features, or “indirectly” through the character’s actions, words and beaviour. Characters can be “flat” or “round”. They are flat when they don’t change their personality through the story; on the contrary, they are round characters when their personality changes as the story develops.


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