Narrator and point of view

The short story “The Battler” by Ernest Hemingway is narrated in the past tense by a third-person narrator. The only exception from the past tense is the dialogue, which makes use of the present tense.

The narrator seems to be reliable, as he or she appears to recount the events as they happen. However, the narrator is subjective. Even though he or she tells the story from a third-person point of view, the narrator generally shares Nick’s thoughts and opinions and can, therefore, be subjective. For example, the narrator is judgemental of the brakeman and doesn’t make a clear distinction between Nick’s thoughts and the narration: “He would have a black eye, all right. It ached already. That son of a crutting brakeman” (ll. 17-18). Therefore, it is hard for the reader to establish an objective view on the situation.

The narrator’s point of view is limited because he or she offers insights only about Nick’s state of mind. The narrator p...

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