Focalization in Richard Wrights

WORDS  373

Focalization in Richard Wrights

Focalization in Richard Wrights Bright and Morning Star

1. Introduction 3

2. Narration 4

3. Focalization 5 - 6

4. Conclusion 6

5. Bibliography 7

1. Introduction
The presentation of events in narratology differs greatly with the purpose of the text. Certain events would seem less authentic if they were to be presented in a third-person narrative, other events just can’t be described objectively within a first-person narrative. Sometimes the events call for a non-involved description but on the other hand are too personal not to include thoughts and views of the character. In this case a different perspective is needed to view the events, not to describe them. For analytical purposes one can assume that the different aspects on narration are chosen for reason by the'implied author´, a substitute agent which is "the governing consciousness of the work as a whole." (Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Narrative Fiction Contemporary Poetics, London / New York, 1983). This agent therefore presents the events through the mediation of a certain perspective, the focalizer, and verbalizes them through a different agent, the narrator. The analysis of both narrator and focalizer can give further insights into the purpose of a story and can help to overcome hermeneutical differences in the interpretation.
I will begin my narratological analysis of Richard Wrights Bright and Morning Star with the aspect of the narrator and his role and purpose in the interpretation. Since the aspect of narration is not my main topic I will keep the analysis short and in direct relation to the focalizer. I will then concentrate on the aspect of focalization and the different levels of pervasion of the focalized. The degree to which the lead character is focalized can be directly related to aspects of interpretation and certain linguistic features which I will specify. I will then conclude my analysis by showing that the described aspects serve to evoke a certain perspective and atmosphere and are therefore useful for contextual interpretation.

2. Narration
In Richard Wrights Bright and Morning Star the events are mediated through a third-person narrator who describes events past to him. Using the terminology of Rimmon-Kenan the narrating agent can be classified as an ulterior extra-diegetic, heterodiegetic narrator. The first aspect defining the narrator is the relationshi...

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