Study Guide

Our Mutual Friend Narrator Point of View

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Narrator Point of View

Third-Person Omniscient

Charles Dickens loves himself some good ol' third-person omniscient narration. It's not just because this was a popular narrative technique during his time, but also because Dickens considered himself to be a pretty good moral center for his books.

As you read through Our Mutual Friend, you'll find all kinds of characters: some you like and some you hate. Our man Dickens is always there to steer you into liking and hating the right people. Just check out how sarcastic and mocking he is when he describes the superficial Veneerings:

Mr. and Mrs. Veneering were brand-new people in a brand-new house in a brand-new quarter of London. Everything about the Veneerings was spick and span new. All the furniture was new, all their friends were new, all their servants were new, their plate was new, their carriage was new […] (1.2.1)

Yowch. That's brutal. Dickens could have just dismissed them by calling them "new money," but that wouldn't have been quite as effective, either at establishing the Veneerings as super, super new… or at allowing Dickens to be as fully snarktastic as his capabilities allow. Yup, Dickens can't resist ye olde omniscience.

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