Narrator and point of view

The events described in “This is My Living Room” by Tom McAfee are told by a first-person narrator, who is also the story’s main character. The narrator presents memories of past events and how he relates to his surroundings. Consequently, the narrator’s account is subjective and based only on his perspective.

The narrator only talks about what he thinks and feels. He does not provide other characters’ perspectives because he is not concerned with their opinion. This idea is suggested when the narrator gives orders to his wife and daughters and does not take their feelings into consideration: “Rosie set in here and cried half the night – till I got up and told her to get in bed with her husband where she belonged” (p. 136, ll. 31-33). This shows that the narrator sees the other characters only in relation to himself and does not care about them as individuals.

The narrator’s bias and prejudices could point to his unreliability. He is only concerned with his ideas, and he seems to believe he is always right, so he ignores the needs of those around him. Because of this, we do not know if some of the events he mentions are true. For example, he is sure that Ellen Jean is in a secret relationship with a boy and probably also pregnant (p. 134, ll. 11-14). However, we cannot be sure if this is true. 

At times, the narrator seems to address the readers directly. For example: “You can’t tell what people are going to do in a town like this” (p. 133, l. 25). This gives the impression that the narrator is having a conversation with the readers. This is also seen through the use of questions such as: “What do I care about this house?” (p. 136, l. 22). 



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