Narrator's Manipulation of Time and Its Effect on the Reader's Essay Example | graduate path (2023)

There are many subtle elements that make Márquez's work unique. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Márquez, with the help of the narrator, manipulates time and this element makes the novel unique. The novel has a non-linear structure and this arises from the way the narrator manipulates time itself. There are changes in the schedule of events and there is no consistency. Márquez achieves this using many techniques such as flashbacks, sudden changes in time period and memory. All of these techniques help the narrator manipulate time. This manipulation of time creates tension and maintains ambiguity. Another factor is the impact of the narrator himself. The option of discontinuous journalistic reconstruction and first-person narration forces the audience to trust the narrator. In essence, the narrator's manipulation of time has a multiple effect on the audience. Márquez's talent for manipulating time in his novel is unmatched by almost any author. Manipulate time with an arsenal of minor techniques. One such technique in his arsenal is the “flashback”. The narrator begins by talking about something that happened before the murder, or even in Santiago's childhood if the current narration is about an event that has already happened.

Like the audience, the flashbacks add depth to each character in the novel. Another technique used by Márquez is fast forward. The narrator alternates between two contrasting time periods; the next one is set in the future relative to the first time frame. The current narrative is about an event, but the next event will be in the future. Explaining what everyone thought of Ángela Vicario, she wrote: "But it was her: Ángela Vicario, 23 years after the drama. He treated me as always, like a distant cousin..." (89). The next few lines are about the moment he met Angela after the incident. This is totally different from what Márquez previously wrote about how it is in the future. Through this technique, the author pulls the audience in and out and manipulates time. Another technique used is memory. It is necessary to keep in mind as you read that most of the narration is done through a character's memory. First of all, memories can become distorted over time. Márquez writes " I returned to that forgotten city, trying to piece together the broken mirror of memory from so many scattered pieces."(5). The audience is reminded why the "shards of a broken mirror are coming together again", preventing the reader from fully trusting the narrator in every respect. Also, at the beginning of the novel, it serves as a mental note on how believable the narrative can be. Audiences may be confused at this point, questioning the value of the narrator, or just curious. In both cases, public interest is aroused. From the above, one can understand the various techniques Márquez uses to manipulate time. It has a tremendous impact on the audience.

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The narrator's manipulation of time allows for a non-linear structure. That is, the events are not told chronologically, as would be expected from a journalistic reconstruction narrative. The events are told in an unorthodox manner in which there is an inconsistency of timelines. The following events could be from the next time period or from the end of the murder. Since there is no specific path the narrator follows when describing the events surrounding the murder, it's safe to say that a non-linear structure is in place. This non-linear structure becomes part of his style as it is woven into his writing style. The fact that Márquez maintains the non-linear structure throughout the novel is due to the literary techniques mentioned that characterize his writing style. This style of writing has two main effects on the reader; Create ambiguity and tension. When evidence, information and facts are withheld from the audience, it is very difficult to truly trust the storyteller. Therefore, the statements of the narrator himself are not reliable. Because of this uncertainty, there is constant ambiguity in various aspects of the work. In the lines "Before God and before men," said Pablo Vicario. "It was a matter of honor." Moreover, in reconstructing the facts we see..." (49) that since Márquez moves so quickly between events, no substance is constructed.

The above excerpt is followed by a flashback. In this example we see that there is ambiguity due to the non-linear explanation of events as no substance is provided for what Father Amador's response to Pablo is. This forces the audience to question the situation critically and assess it at all times. Another effect is that tension is involved. In certain cases, it is not known what will happen next or what happened. For example, the real murder of Santiago Nasar is kept secret until the end, and only at the end of the novel do we learn the details of his death. Maintaining suspense leads the reader to keep reading, which is the main goal of any author. Another effect of the narrator is that the narration voice is in the first person. This has many advantages for storytelling. First, when the narration is in the first person, the constant use of "I" makes the reader become one with the narrator. This creates an intense connection between the reader and the narrator, who in the end does not even notice that the story is being told by someone else. Instead, the reader is assumed to be the true narrator and part of the novel. He/she is fully immersed in the novel, which is one of the reasons why this novel is a fantastic work of literature. Another effect of the choice of narration is that once you are immersed in the character of the narrator, you stop asking. In other words, the narrator becomes more believable, if not entirely honest. As such, the narrator's word is taken for granted, and in many cases the narrator subconsciously hints at aspects that we as viewers tend to agree with. “Seven of the multiple injuries were fatal.

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The liver was nearly dissected by two deep incisions in front. He had four incisions in his stomach, one so deep that it was completely..." (75). The intensity with which he describes Santiago's death can be attributed to the fact that the narrator uses journalistic techniques and wants to describe everything as precisely as possible. Although after a while we can realize that it's not just about what really happened, but tries to provoke a judgment from the reader. Such a violent display only allows the audience to side with Santiago Nasar. In this example, we see how we tend to side with the narrator because of our growing trust in the narrator. Therefore, it is understandable that all these aspects together influence the audience. Márquez's wise choice of a narrative that is a first-person journalistic reconstruction. The achieved effect of immersion in the story shows again and again how effective the choice of narration is. In addition, the narrator manipulates time and, as explained above, has an intrinsic effect that is crucial to the novel. The manipulation of time creates constant ambiguity and in turn maintains the suspense until the end of the novel. This keeps the listener on their toes and compels them to read on. Perhaps these elements of Márquez's writing style make his work a masterpiece.


What are some examples of narrative essays? ›

5 Examples of Narrative Essays
  • “Goodbye to All That” by Joan Didion. ...
  • “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. ...
  • “Notes of a Native Son” by James Baldwin. ...
  • “My Life as an Heiress” by Nora Ephron. ...
  • “Joy” by Zadie Smith.
Apr 13, 2021

What is an example of a thesis statement for a narrative essay? ›

Examples: If you are writing a narrative about a great one-day trip you took with friends, the thesis could be: Spending time with close friends gives memories that can last forever, even if the trip is just one day.

How to write a narrative essay step by step PDF? ›

  1. Step 1: Organizing your Thoughts (Brainstorming) Believe it or not, there is almost no topic on which your mind will draw a complete blank. ...
  2. Step 2: Researching your Topic. ...
  3. Step 3: Developing a Thesis Statement.
  4. Step 4: Writing the Introduction. ...
  5. Step 5: Writing the Body of the Essay. ...
  6. Step 6: Writing the Conclusion.

What are the 3 examples of narrative text? ›

Examples include traditional tales like fairy tails, tall tales, legends, and myth and contemporary creations such as the Harry Potter series.

What is a good introduction for a narrative essay? ›

Remember your introduction should be interesting and draw your reader in. It should make your audience want to read more. If it's a person, begin with a description of the person and then say why that person mattered.

Can you give me an example of a thesis statement? ›

Example of an argumentative thesis statement: High school graduates should be required to take a year off to pursue community service projects before entering college in order to increase their maturity and global awareness.

What is a good example of a thesis sentence? ›

A strong thesis statement is specific.

For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say: World hunger has many causes and effects.

How do you write a good thesis statement for an essay? ›

A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay. First, analyze your primary sources. Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication.

What is a good sentence to start a narrative? ›

Story starters
  • I didn't mean to kill her.
  • The air turned black all around me.
  • Icy fingers gripped my arm in the darkness.
  • Wandering through the graveyard it felt like something was watching me.
  • The eyes in the painting follow him down the corridor.
  • A shrill cry echoed in the mist.

What are the 5 paragraphs in a narrative essay? ›

How is it structured? The five-paragraph essay structure consists of, in order: one introductory paragraph that introduces the main topic and states a thesis, three body paragraphs to support the thesis, and one concluding paragraph to wrap up the points made in the essay.

How do you start the first body paragraph of a narrative essay? ›

Consider the first sentence in a body paragraph a mini-thesis statement for that paragraph. The topic sentence should establish the main point of the paragraph and bear some relationship to the essay's overarching thesis statement.

What are the 3 main parts of a narrative? ›

The three-act structure is a model used in narrative fiction that divides a story into three parts (acts), often called the Setup, the Confrontation, and the Resolution. It was popularized by Syd Field in his 1979 book Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting.

What are the 5 parts of narrative text? ›

The 5 Key Story Elements
  • Character.
  • Conflict.
  • Plot.
  • Setting.
  • Theme.
Aug 11, 2022

What are the 5 points of a narrative? ›

There are 5 elements of plot:
  • Exposition.
  • Rising Action.
  • Climax.
  • Falling Action.
  • Conclusion.

What are the 4 types of narration? ›

Let's take a step back for a moment to remind ourselves of the four types of narrator that are available to us when telling a story.
  • First-Person Narrative Voice. ...
  • Second-Person Narrative Voice. ...
  • Third-Person Narrative Voice. ...
  • Omniscient Third-Person Narrator.
Jan 12, 2022

What are the 7 elements of narrative writing? ›

These terms include: plot, characters, point of view, setting, theme, conflict, and style. Understanding how these elements work helps us better analyze narratives and to determine meanings.

What is narrative text give 4 kinds of narrative text? ›

There are many types of narrative: imaginary, factual, or combination of both. They may include fairy stories, mysteries, science fiction, romances, horror stories, adventure stories, fables, myths, and legends, historical narratives, ballads, slice of life, and personal experiences.

How do you start a good introduction for an essay example? ›

What an introduction should include:
  • A little basic background about the key subject area (just enough to put your essay into context, no more or you'll bore the reader).
  • Explanation of how you are defining any key terms. ...
  • A road-map of how your essay will answer the question. ...
  • A confirmation of your position.
Jan 13, 2023

What is 1 example of a good introduction? ›

Posing a question, defining the key term, giving a brief anecdote, using a playful joke or emotional appeal, or pulling out an interesting fact are just a few approaches you can take. Use imagery, details, and sensory information to connect with the reader if you can.

What are good introduction sentences examples? ›

Think about it this way: a good opening sentence is the thing you don't think you can say, but you still want to say. Like, “This book will change your life.” Or, “I've come up with the most brilliant way anyone's ever found for handling this problem.”

How do you start off a thesis statement? ›

The basic rules for writing a thesis statement are:
  1. State the topic or present your argument.
  2. Summarize the main idea of each of your details and/or body paragraphs.
  3. Keep your statement to one to two sentences.
Dec 24, 2019

Can a thesis statement be 5 sentences? ›

Short answer: one or two sentences. The long and more in-depth answer: as one's professional writing evolves, good arguments become more established, and are therefore longer than 2 short sentences. So a thesis statement can even have three or four long sentences.

What 3 things should a thesis statement have? ›

Parts of a Thesis Statement

The thesis statement has 3 main parts: the limited subject, the precise opinion, and the blueprint of reasons.

How to write a good conclusion? ›

In a general way,
  1. Restate your topic and why it is important,
  2. Restate your thesis/claim,
  3. Address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position,
  4. Call for action or overview future research possibilities.

How to write an introduction? ›

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
  1. An opening hook to catch the reader's attention.
  2. Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  3. A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
Feb 4, 2019

How do you write a thesis statement for an introduction paragraph? ›

First, the thesis must state your topic. Second, the thesis must convey what you will prove about your topic (your opinion about that topic). The thesis statement is most often embedded in the introductory paragraph, usually at the end of that paragraph. Try this strategy to develop and narrow a thesis statement.

What is an example of a thesis statement and topic sentence? ›

For example, if you wrote the aforementioned thesis statement about yoga, then your topic sentences would be: 1) Yoga increases flexibility and stamina. 2) Yoga reduces stress. 3) Yoga can heal common aches and pains.

What is the thesis statement in a sentence? ›

What is a Thesis Statement? The thesis statement is the sentence that states the main idea of a writing assignment and helps control the ideas within the paper. It is not merely a topic. It often reflects an opinion or judgment that a writer has made about a reading or personal experience.

How do you write a thesis statement in MLA? ›

Developing Strong Thesis Statements
  1. Understand the type of paper you are writing – is it an argumentative or analytical paper?
  2. Identify your research topic. ...
  3. Start researching your topic. ...
  4. What is the purpose of your paper? ...
  5. Who is the audience for this paper? ...
  6. Write a first draft thesis statement.
  7. Finish your research.

What is an example of narrative in a sentence? ›

Example Sentences

Noun He is writing a detailed narrative of his life on the island. People have questioned the accuracy of his narrative.

What is a narrative lead example? ›

It was a terrifying night for my family when we discovered a bat in our house. This lead gets the reader quickly involved in the story by starting with an event or some kind of action. Boring: There was a loud storm outside my house last night.

What are the 3 types of paragraphs you need in an essay? ›

Here are the basic type: Descriptive paragraphs. Narrative paragraphs. Expository paragraphs.

How do I write a narrative essay? ›

How to write a narrative essay
  1. Choose a topic. The first step is to decide what you want your narrative essay to discuss. ...
  2. Create an outline. The second step is to create an outline that determines how you tell your story. ...
  3. Write in first-person. ...
  4. Use creative language. ...
  5. Proofread your writing.
Mar 25, 2022

What is a good narrative paragraph? ›

Narratives usually have a beginning, middle, and an end, but the story does not have to be told in chronological order. Your narrative should have a purpose for being told, and the audience should gain some new insight or perspective after reading it.

What is a good conclusion for narrative essay? ›

The Moral of the Story The conclusion of a narrative include the closing action of the event, but also should include some reflection or analysis of the significance of the event to the writer. What lesson did you learn? How has what happened to you affected your life now?

What are good sentence starters for essays? ›

Below is a list of possible sentence starters, transitional and other words that may be useful. This essay discusses … … is explored … … is defined … The definition of … will be given … is briefly outlined … … is explored … The issue focused on …. … is demonstrated ... … is included …

How many paragraphs is a narrative essay? ›

Most narrative essays will be around five paragraphs, or more, depending on the topic and requirements. Make sure to check in with your instructor about the guidelines for your essay.

What is a narrative essay Grade 6? ›

The writer organizes an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically. Some development of the events and characters is done through dialogue. Some precise words and phrases, descriptive details, and sensory language are used as well.

What is narrative essay format? ›

Narrative essays are generally written in the first-person POV, and are usually about a topic that's personal to the writer. Everything in these essays should take place in an established timeline, with a clear beginning, middle, and end.

What are the 7 types of narratives? ›

The 7 story archetypes are:
  • Overcoming the Monster.
  • Rags to Riches.
  • The Quest.
  • Voyage and Return.
  • Comedy.
  • Tragedy.
  • Rebirth.
Oct 31, 2011

What are the 4 types of narrative writing? ›

4 types of narrative styles
  • Descriptive. A descriptive narrative style uses vivid descriptions to help create a visual image for the readers so they can picture the setting of the plot, which includes the time and place of the story. ...
  • Linear. ...
  • Nonlinear. ...
  • Viewpoint. ...
  • Descriptive. ...
  • Linear. ...
  • Nonlinear. ...
  • Viewpoint.
Sep 27, 2022

What are 3 important parts of a narrative? ›

Plot-one common plot evident. Setting-place and time well established. Characterization-includes a protagonist and antagonist; more points will be given for dynamic characterization.

What are the 4 main parts of a narrative story? ›

What Makes A Good Short Story? The four elements necessary for your story structure are character, plot, setting, and tension. Balancing these elements is the first step to making your creative writing amazing.


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