Study Guide

In Dubious Battle Narrator Point of View

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Narrator Point of View

Third Person (Objective)

Outside the extensive dialogue, Steinbeck uses an objective third-person point of view to mimic a journalist's point of view. Of course, Steinbeck's not a reporter, and he's not really objective. Don't believe us? Take a look at this instance, when the workers have just received their marching orders from Mac:

The moment he stopped talking a turbulence broke out. Shouting and laughing, the men eddied. They seemed filled with a terrible joy, a bloody, lustful joy. Their laughter was heavy. (105)

While Steinbeck assigns emotional values to the actions of the workers he observes, he's not delving into the minds of any particular character. As a result, we get insightful narrative, but we have to rely on dialogue to discover anything personal or intimate about the characters.

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