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David Lodge’s “Point of View” applied to the Paradise of the Blind.

Point of View is bearing in mind a matter with a certain attitude. It could also mean having your own opinion and beliefs. For this assignment, I have selected “Point of View” as my chapter. It was a little confusing but hopefully after numerous times of rereading it I will explain what the main idea is and how it applies to Paradise of the Blind.

In my opinion, the main point of the chapter was to explain in depth what the point of view was in David Lodge’s book The Art of Fiction. In this section he mentioned how the choice of point of view from which the story is told is the most important decision a novelist must make, for it affects the way the readers will respond, emotionally and ethically, to the fictional characters and their actions. For instance, in Paradise of the Blind, if this story was obtainable primarily from the point of view of Que, Ton, Aunt Tam, or observed from a fourth party it would surely affect us differently. You see if these characters were to narrate from the point of view of the Paradise of the Blind it would obviously be a very different story from the one we know.

I believe the first paragraph was a page out of the book, while the next page talked about point of view and how it applies to the book The Art of Fiction. This section did a really good job at breaking apart the language in the first sentence. That’s when I knew that this chapter is giving you an explanation of why the point of view is what it is in the book. But I also think that this part can be used as a reference when wanting to find the right usage of Point of View.

“But she was a person addicted to extremes- sometimes barely speaking to her child…” (Lodge, 25). In this sentence it talked about Maisie (From the Art of Fiction) sometimes forgetting about her child or not even speaking to them. Which reminded me of Que, Hangs mother in the Paradise of the Blind. You see Que is someone who places family duties extremely high. She’s willing to starve her only daughter, Hang, to feed her nephews. This situation occurred mainly after Aunt Tam started giving money to Hang for being the first to go to college. Now we’re not sure why Maisie acts like this around her child. But you could tell both characters have some type of similarity in their opinions and beliefs towards situations like this.

Moving into language for both books. At the start of the chapter for Point of View, you can tell the language used isn’t coming from a child. It even says, “The very first sentence of this paragraph contains most of the features that place its style at the opposite pole from the language of a child.” (Lodge, 27) And in the novel (Paradise of the Blind) the story is coming told from a child. However, in my opinion the language used sounds more like it’s coming from an adult. Mostly because an adult did write the novel but the story was told mainly in first person (by Hang). Nevertheless, both books had somewhat the same viewpoint when writing.

In Conclusion, Hangs mother valued her extended family over her daughter and that affected hangs life view and the way she talked about her past. This is shown through the tone of voice she uses throughout the book. I believe the main point of this chapter is to explain the right usage of showing a Point of View in any novel, and in this case The Paradise of the Blind.

-Ameera Ali

Works Cited:

Lodge, David. The Art of Fiction. Vintage, 2011.

Dương, Thu Hương. Paradise of the Blind. Perennial, 2002.


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