The effects of a new narrator

Collins has put a new spin on the novel by introducing a new narrator. It becomes clear that he wants the story to be told through different perspective and with different biases. However he has made it clear that although the new narrator may add a new dynamic to the novel, it is still entirely factual. He alludes to the diaries of Miss Clack and Penelope. The confusion and uncertainty, of who to trust, is felt by the reader at this point. Could the next narrator offer yet another perspective? Perhaps Collins is in favor of different narrators that tell a factual story differently so that the reader receives the whole experience and not just one biased account.

Through the first period, Mr. Betteredge guides through the novel. He was developed as a trust worthy narrator simply because he gave no reason as the first narrator to be untrustworthy. Yet he sends off by mentioning that we should not believe any bad things that Miss Clack, the next narrator, might say of him. This implies that he may have something to hide that someone else may make known to the reader. Thus far the novel has taken place within the house and Mr. Better edge is an insider that is the leader of the servants. His name of “better-edge” also implies that he is an esteemed character that is trustworthy. However his title is leader of the servants, or the highest of the low in the house.

Miss Clack’s character traits serve contradictory to Mr. Betteredge. Because she is the second narrator and seems to be in contradiction to our first seemingly noteworthy narrator, Miss Clack almost has something to prove to the reader to earn trust. Also she is an outsider to the situation because she was never in the house. Right away her strong devotion to Faith as a pious Christian woman comes out. It is stressed so far it almost seems as if she is over compensating. For instance when she learns of Lady Verinder’s unavoidable death she immediately seizes the opportunity to try and “save her” from sin before she dies. Right there she displays a warped version of the Christian message for her own gain. There is also the fact that she is a member of the family and that it immediately puts her closer to the situation than Betteredge who merely works for them.

The bias is seen based off of the different character’s each narrator favors. Betteredge favors Rosanna and constantly tries to protect her from accusations. He seems to over compensate for her who may have clearly had a guilty conscience (demonstrated by her suicide). Miss Clack also goes above and beyond to describe Godfrey as a perfect Christian man. Although there are accusations made against he based off evidence from a meeting with Septimus Luker and then an attack on both of them. Then as the narrative goes on Miss Clack hides and eavesdrops on a conversation between Godfrey and Rachel(Miss. Clack does not like Rachel).

The shift of the narrator has an important effect on the way the novel will continue because it offers warped pieces to a factual story. The route of the novel will depend on the new narrators that come into play. Collins encourages the confusion by the readers by offering imperfect narrators to deliver the story. I am intrigued to see if a flawless narrator will rise up to deliver the whole truth, or if we will have to decipher and sift through the imperfect narrators to develop a coherent story and explanation.

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