The narrator

Outer characterization

The outer characterization of the narrator of "My Girl in Skin-Tight Jeans" by William Boyd is very brief. We never learn his name, age, or any physical description other than the fact that he is a bachelor with a weak constitution. His single status is important to the narrator and is mentioned from the very beginning of the story. His poor health is mentioned several times in the story but never described in more detail.

The narrator’s job is also left to our imagination. His income is a small legacy left by his mother as well as a number of projects he is engaged in. Although the narrator states that he does not have to work for a living, when one of his projects fails, his budget is much reduced, which leads to his depression. The narrator lives “quietly and economically” (p. 93, l. 11), in the house that his mother left him, and spends his winters in a small resort-town, where he rents a room. He is a very tidy person and likes things neat and organized in his surroundings: “My room is small but I keep it tidy” (p. 95, l. 11)

Inner characterization

In his own estimation, one of the narrator’s key characteristics is the fact that he is single and lives alone. He mentions it from the beginning of the story, and he explains it using defensive terms (p. 93, ll. 2-6). He claims he is a bachelor because of his health but the fact that he doesn’t go into further detail, or explain how this would have prevented him from getting married, leads us to suspect that it is an excuse. Also, it suggests there is a much deeper problem here, that the narrator does not want to share, although he seems to be aware of it on some level.

The narrato...

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