Narrator and point of view

“Life for a Life” by Alan Paton is a third-person narration. The storyteller is outside the plot and conveys the events as an external observer.

In this story, however, the external narrator uses some of the characters’ points of view to convey the events. Note that most of the text narrates the events from the point of view of the black characters, suggested through the way the white characters are referred to as ‘baas’ or ‘big baas’.

Most of the times, the narrator uses Sara Maarman's point of view. This is suggested by the fact that we have access to her thoughts, feelings, and attitude towards other characters. Here are some relevant examples: “…she thought to herself three days is three days too many…” (p. 24, ll. 23-24); “Her tears were coming now, made to flow by sorrow and anger. The policemen were uneasy…” (p. 23, ll. 3-4);

In the first part of the story...

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