Study Guide

Passion Narrator Point of View

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Narrator Point of View

Third Person (Omniscient)

Munro's narrator is like a wise housefly. It buzzes around, hangs out on walls, and reports stuff to us. Plus, it has access to characters' thoughts (because houseflies are cool like that), though it tends to stay especially close to Grace. This means that our perceptions are sometimes shaped according to how Grace views and reacts to the world, rather than being wholly impartial observations.

When Grace struggles to articulate why, exactly, she hated Father of the Bride, Munro's narrator steps in:

She could not explain or quite understand that it wasn't altogether jealousy she felt, it was rage. (164)

As a result of these interjections, it's possible to guess what kinds of things the narrator is passionate about. As an example, we get a whole paragraph about why Grace felt rage after seeing Father of the Bride:

It was because that was what girls were supposed to be like…that was what men—people, everybody—thought they should be like. (164)

Our omniscient housefly narrator isn't interested in telling us what to think, but despite the third person distance there is occasionally a certain bend on a question or idea that tell us, "This is important."

This also happens when the narrator steps in to ask questions, like when we're told that Grace took extra high school classes. "Why was she doing it? Did she have any plans?" (27). By asking these questions the narrator invites us to participate in the story's meaning. We're not being told what to think, and that opens the story up in unexpected ways. It's a big reason why Munro's stories are so complex. 

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