Study Guide

The Monstrumologist Narrator Point of View

By Rick Yancey

Narrator Point of View

First Person (Central)

The Monstrumologist is set up in such a way that we are reading the journals of Will Henry, written much later in life (like a memoir) and then transcribed by an anonymous author. Outside of the prologue and epilogue, where our first person narrator is the author, we are mostly immersed in the tale as Will Henry lived it, though there are a few moments where he interjects with insights or perspectives that could only be gained years after the fact:

I cannot say I grasped the full meaning of that moment then, the import of the disparate elements, which seems so obvious now: the two pathways marked, one straight and wide, the other crooked and narrow; the tunnel leading downward, ever downward; the sound of something following me; the baring of my wounds to let them 'breathe a bit.' Such profound perfidy is beyond the comprehension of most men, let alone the trusting naïveté of a child! No, I was merely confused and frightened, not suspicious, as I kneeled, lamp thrust before me in one hand while I clutched the gun in the quivering other. (12.235)

These reflections help show that Will Henry has spent a lot of time pondering these events, thereby necessitating writing them all down. But outside of these musings we are right alongside him as he lives through the Anthropophagi incident. For example:

So far so good, I told myself, to rally my flagging spirits. That's two notches in your belt, and all in one night. Now up to the den. You'll find some way back to the others. Courage, Will Henry, courage! You can stay here and bleed to death, or you can pick yourself up and find your way back. Now, which will it be, Will Henry? (12.194)

This narrative technique is very engaging; even though we know Will Henry survives his ordeals (after all, he wrote it all down) we're still biting our nails in anxious terror as he goes down into the Anthropophagi den.

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