The Practical Imagination Chapter 2 – NARRATOR AS PARTICIPANT

In Chapter 2 of the Practical Imagination, Northrop Frye provides his thoughts about several significant English short stories that share the characteristic that they are narrated by a participant in the story – the first person “I”.   As Frye points out, “the first-person perspective helps the fiction work its magic.”  It also limits the reader’s understanding of the story because the narrator only has his own perspective as a character to draw upon in telling the story.  This invites the reader to speculate about the reliability of the narrator – is he telling the truth?  Is he misinformed? Is he essentially correct?  The result is an ideal setting for “Dramatic Irony”.  Take this course and thrill to 6 classic English stories and investigate the use of these devices which give life to English fiction.

This package contains 6 Seminars of approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours – almost 12 hours of viewing.  Each seminar tells the full story completely and comments on the vocabulary, structures and literary devices used to tell the tale.  A pdf version of the story is included to encourage the student to practice reading in English.

The stories included in this package are:

  1. The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe
  2. The Yellow Wall-Paper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  3. I’m a Fool, by Sherwood Anderson
  4. A Memory, by Eudora Welty
  5. A & P, by John Updike
  6. An Ounce of Cure, by Alice Munroe

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