Narrator and point of view

The short story “Nairobi” by Joyce Carol Oates is told from the point of view of a third person narrator. The story is told entirely from Ginny’s perspective, so the narrator is limited.

All the events and the interactions between the characters are seen through Ginny’s point of view, and she makes several assumptions about the characters, which may or may not be true. For instance, when Oliver asks her when she got her ears pierced, she thinks it is “as if he were asking a favor of her” (ll. 49-50). She seems to think Oliver is trying to flirt with her, also because he is “standing rather close” (l. 45), and she reacts by blushing and drawing away slightly. However, her impression proves untrue because at the end he does not ask her for a drink “even out of courtesy” (ll. 230-231) and leaves her very quickly. Also, in the elevator on the way up to the apartment building,...

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