Narration and Dialogue

imagesThe narration used throughout After Twenty Years is third person objective narration, as the story is told from the perspective of what is seen and done and not what the characters think and feel. This narration is effective in telling this particular story, as it is important for the surprise climax at the end of the story. If the story was told in first person or even third person omniscient narration, readers would be able to understand what characters think, ultimately exposing the true identity of Jimmy immediately, affecting the twist ending of the story.

The dialogue within the text is particularly important to the story as it allows the reader to see what is said as opposed to what is felt by the characters. It plays an important part in building the characters, outlining their relationships, and presenting their motives and emotions, making clear the parts they are playing in the rising and falling of the story’s action. The dialogue deployed between Bob and the policeman all detail the significant facts of the story, giving information about the past of the two best friends, the choices made, opinions, certain stories about their agreement, as well as the ideologies and needs of Bob.

O’Henry appears to have chosen the narration within the text  to effectively tell the story from a certain perspective and has used the dialogue to outline particularly important information of the story, ultimately contributing towards the twist climax at  the end.


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