Study Guide

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things Narrator Point of View

By Carolyn Mackler

Narrator Point of View

First Person (Central Narrator)

This is Virginia's story, and Virginia's the one who tells it. She doesn't hold anything back, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that communication isn't exactly her family's strong point. It's like she's bursting to tell someone, so she's going to tell the reader; she even lets us in on her most private moments. Case in point: "I lower the nozzle so it sprays a stream of warm water between my legs. This is the first time I've touched myself like this in months" (22.61). How's that for telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Pretty truthy, right? Right.

And that's the thing about having Virginia as our narrator: she might struggle with shame, but she lays it all on the table for us. And while on one hand this is cool because it's always important to hear stories from outcasts in their own words, it's also cool because we get to see the impact of rape from a very unusual—but very valid—angle. Beyond the victim and the perpetrator, we gain an understanding of just how devastating rape is for family members; and as Virginia will have us know, it's pretty rough stuff.

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