Something Wicked This Way Comes
by Ray Bradbury
Analysis: Narrator Point of View
Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?
Third Person (Limited Omniscient)
We move around a fair bit in this novel. Sometimes the action is on the boys, sometimes Charles Halloway, and even occasionally on minor characters like Miss Foley and Tom Fury. For the overwhelming majority of the book, however, we stay with Will and Jim. More specifically, we stay with Will (who is usually with Jim). We never hear Jim's thoughts, while we're usually treated to a play-by-play of Will's musings and emotions. (Usually it's along the lines of: "I'm scared!" "Please don't go on the carousel and leave me, Jim!")
Despite its third-person point of view, we want to point out that you can't always take this narration literally, and you can't always separate the narrator from the perspective of a thirteen-year-old boy. When we read about a mysterious stage with naked people touching each other, for example, the novel is describing sexual activity through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old boy. This calls into question at least some of the terrors invoked by the carnival, and, more significantly, makes us wonder to what extent all this nightmarish activity is actually real. Think about it.