Study Guide

Dancing on the Edge Narrator Point of View

By Han Nolan

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Narrator Point of View

First Person (Central)—Miracle McCloy

Dancing on the Edge is the kind of transformational story that demands that its protagonist tell her own story. If the novel were told using a third-person narrator, we'd still get all the goodies of seeing Miracle adapt as she moves away from her dysfunctional past. But there would be one major ingredient missing: Miracle's own self-reflection and analysis of how she's changed.

This is particularly true at the end of the book when the truth about Gigi and her family crystallizes and Miracle begins to see things as they really are. She says:

My own feelings were too new, too fresh […] Thoughts and memories were slamming around inside my head, crashing into one another, exploding, breaking wide open. (29.10)

The emotional intensity of her new realizations couldn't be captured in as vivid detail with an objective or even omniscient narrator as it is here. In order for us to bond with Miracle and experience genuine concern for her, we have to get inside her head.

This doesn't mean that spending so much quality time with Miracle's brain is entirely smooth-sailing. Because the story is told from the point of view of a character who is mentally unstable, abused, and neglected, there are a lot of places where we lack the information to totally know what's going on.

At the beginning, for instance, some people showed up at Gigi's house in the middle of the night with a torch and "sprinkled something along the edge of our lawn" (2.39). It's hard to understand the situation because Miracle herself isn't aware of the specifics. Nonetheless, we can fill in the gaps and figure out that the suspicious characters are most likely vigilante townsfolk who want to burn down Gigi's house due to her black magic and the questionable nature of Dane's disappearance.

Dancing on the Edge Narrator Point of View Study Group

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