Narrator and point of view

The short story “Mr. and Mrs. Elliot” by Ernest Hemingway is told from the point of view of a third-person narrator who is outside the main events. The narrator follows the Elliots from the moment they meet to their summer stay in Touraine.

In this story, the third-person narrator is a very important part of Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory, which means only offering few details about the characters and allowing readers to assume the rest. In the following extract, the narrator presents only what is noticeable on the surface and readers have to imagine why Cornelia was rejected by her mother-in-law: “his mother cried when he brought Cornelia home after their marriage but brightened very much when she learned they were going to live abroad” (ll. 32-34). Also, Mrs. Elliot’s reluctance to be intimate with her husband is only suggested in this quote: “Mr. and Mrs. Elliot tried very hard to have a baby. They tried as often as Mrs. Elliot could stand it.” (ll. 1-2).

The narrator has knowledge about Mr. Elliot’s thoughts and feelings, as suggested in the following extract:

He w...

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