Narrator and point of view

The short story “After You, My Dear Alphonse” by Shirley Jackson is told by a third-person narrator. 

The narrator is limited to Mrs. Wilson’s point of view, who is also the main character in the story. For example, the narrative shows that she feels “defeated” (p. 2, l. 26) when she finds out that Boyd’s father is a foreman, and that she has a “long experience” (p. 3, l. 15) of her son playing while eating. 

When it comes to the other characters, we know only what Mrs. Wilson observes and hears about them:: “ ‘My mother?’ Boyd was surprised. ‘She takes care of us kids.’ ” (p. 2, l. 27). This is Mrs. Wilson’s interpretation of Boyd’s feelings based on his words and tone of voice. The narrator also offers examples of how Mrs. Wilson sees the boys. F...

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