Subjective Narrators Mean Objective Reader

After having read the novel as narrated by two different people, I have come to the conclusion that the purpose of the narrators is in fact to allow the reader to view the story objectively through the subjective lens of first Gabriel Betteredge and now Drusilla Clack.  While both narrators have tried very hard to convince the reader of their impartiality, they cannot help but expose their opinions and judgments constantly throughout their narrations.  Miss Clack immediately after we meet her talks badly of Gabriel, whom we trusted to give us a truthful narration of the first part of the story.  She also expresses her dislike for Rachel, the story’s heroine, whom others have seemed to view favorably in the previous narration.  On the other hand, she is infatuated with Godfrey Ablewhite.  At first while I was reading, I thought Miss Clack seemed much more level headed than Gabriel, but her repeatedly wrongly felt emotions, like her intense joy when Lady Verinder tells her she is sick and dying, and her relief when she is told she doesn’t appear in the will, make me question her integrity as a storyteller.  She also calls herself a martyr when she is “forced” to hide behind the curtains and listen to Rachel and Godfrey’s conversation although clearly she is extremely curious and makes excuses for why she never covers her ears or eyes.  For me, the sum total of these and Betteredge’s own subjective views has been to make me neither like or dislike any of the characters of the novel.  I cannot say that I have strong feelings about any of them in one way or another because to feel either way would put me on the side of Gabriel or Miss Clack, whom we have openly acknowledged are both biased.  I feel that the author purposefully created such eccentric narrators so that the reader would be able to draw their own conclusions about the characters and not feel obligated to agree with a narrator because they seem like a reasonable person.  Since both Gabriel and Miss Clack clearly are silly in their own ways, the reader is free of the guilt of feeling like they are reading the story wrong and capable of being critical.

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