Point of view in a Passage from Fanny and Annie by D. H. Lawrence
Our answer for task B (part a)
What can we learn in general terms from this exercise?
The most important things to notice in general descriptive terms are
- Although in critical terms Fanny is the main reflector/focaliser
in this story (if you read the whole story you will feel that her point
of view is represented in the narrative through most of the story),
we can see that, as the story progresses, the viewpoint can still change
from sentence to sentence, and even within sentences.
- Even if only one person's viewpoint is being represented, that viewpoint
can have many different aspects (spatial, temporal, social, conceptual,
attitudinal) at the same time. We have often found two or three aspects
represented inside the same sentence or clause.
- There are a myriad of ways in which viewpoint can be represented
linguistically. So our point of view checksheet is really just the beginning
of the story.
- Some aspects of viewpoint are not linguistic - they can involve assumptions
we take along to texts in relation to the situations described (for
example we take along our schematic knowledge of where the choir and
congregation sit in order to understand some of the spatial viewpoint
aspects early in the passage. And so we infer viewpoint (and who/what
the author wants us to sympathise with) on the basis of a combination
of linguistic and non-linguistic factors.
- We have concentrated on viewpoint. But a complete stylistic analysis
of the passage would need to examine other things too (for example Lawrence's
style and the way in which he indicates the dialect of the woman when