Second Person and Third Person (Omniscient) / Dr. J. Argon, B.Psych
We know this sounds a little strange at first, but there are
actually two different points of view used
by the same narrator in this book. Mind blown? Stick with us; it gets better.
The narrator, Dr. Argon,
shows up about two-thirds of the way through the book to analyze Artemis's
facial expressions and basically tell whether he's a sociopath who can lie
without giving it away. And by shows
up, we mean he literally appears in the plot. Here's the kicker,
though—we don't know this guy's the narrator until the last few lines. Tricky.
Okay. So we have one narrator, who shows up briefly in the
plot. But when it comes to the point of view he takes, it shifts depending on
where we are in the story. If this sounds complicated, don't worry—it's
actually quite simple once we break the book down into two narratives: the
frame, and the middle.
In the frame—which includes the prologue and epilogue—Dr.
Argon speaks directly to the reader (or to someone, anyway—we like to think
we're the you he's
addressing, but perhaps he's talking to someone else). In this part of the
narrative the book goes into the second person, and as readers we feel directly
For the middle narrative, though—which is the majority of the
story—Dr. Argon gives us an omniscient look into multiple characters' minds and
motivations, hopping around from place to place and moving through time
fluidly, all while never acknowledging our presence. This part is in the third
person—there are no I's or yous—and we
can read freely without feeling implicated by the text.
The thing about Dr. Argon, though, is that at the very end—in
the last line of the epilogue, after he addresses us directly—he says the "Details
are 94% accurate, 6% unavoidable extrapolation." And while a ninety-four
on an exam is something to crow about, since we have no way of knowing which
moments of the story the accurate parts, Dr. Argon ends the book by basically
announcing that he's an unreliable narrator. It's
good to know, but also a confusing note to end the book on.