Characterisation of the narrator

Here, we will characterise the narrator of “Same Same but Different” by Anne Hayden.

Outer characterisation

The narrator is an Irish woman from Dublin, who has been living in Melbourne for a few months (l. 39), working as a teacher (l. 104). She is probably in her early twenties, as her twin sister, Molly, died when they were 21 (l. 51).


Inner characterisation

The narrator’s inner characterisation is mostly conveyed in connection to her sister Molly, and through her attitude towards the other characters. We will first focus on the narrator’s characterisation in connection to other characters.

The narrator’s inner characterisation presents her as struggling to come to terms with her twin’s death. In the beginning of the narration, she comes across as cynical and sarcastic, unable to enjoy her first date with Luke, because she recalls her sister Molly: “…listening to this Aussie lad bang on about how he’s really into minimal techno. I’m nodding away to the sounds of Bros and smiling to myself, he probably thinks I’m being ironic or something.” (ll. 3-5);

The guy, his name is Luke funnily enough, is going on and on about how you can never replicate the sound of vinyl on a computer. I want to point out that minimal techno, as far as I’m aware, is made on a computer but I resist the temptation. (ll. 15-17)

Although the narrator makes an excuse to leave her first date with Luke, she subsequently changes her mind and decides to give him another chance and go out with him again: “ ‘I’m sorry, it’s just… I’ve got this toothache, it’s killing me. I think I’ll have to go home.’ ” (ll. 33-34); “I text Luke back instead, warn him I’m no longer a blonde. ‘Same same but different,’ he replies. We meet a few days later...” (ll. 132-135)

The narrator has a difficult time adapting to her life in Melbourne because she cannot get used to the climate, she is unable to make friends, and to have a relationship:

“But all this bloody sunshine makes it much more difficult to be alone. I constantly feel like I should be sitting with a group of friends in a beer garden or taking romantic seaside strolls.” (ll. 43-45)


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