by Evelyn Waugh
Analysis: Narrator Point of View
Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?
First Person (Central Narrator)
Charles Ryder narrates two decades of his own memories over the course of Brideshead Revisited. We’re allowed into the thoughts of the twenty-something Charles he recalls as well as the reflections of the forty-something man he is when the novel begins. In fact, it’s sometimes hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. Charles admits that he’s tempted to imbue his younger self with qualities and maturities he didn’t actually have. He also openly admits to the unreliability of his memory. But, in a way, we actually trust Charles more on account of his openness. He’s not trying to manipulate the reader at all; if anything, he is himself a victim of memory’s manipulation.