1st Person Narrative

1st Person Narrative

How To Be A Good Wife has a 1st person narrative. We know this because:

1. The narrative is told using a 1st person personal pronoun: e.g. ‘I…’
2. We only receive one version of events: Marta’s.


It is Marta’s voice which drives the narrative, and we only get the story from her perspective.  As a narrator with a fragmented voice and disjointed mental state, this keeps us on edge as we are not sure whether we should believe Marta, and her 1st person narrative is the only way we view the story.

The advantages of a 1st person narrative:

1. It keeps us close inside Marta’s perspective. This gives us both an affinity with her, and is a claustrophobic experience. It increases the intensity of the experience of reading How To Be A Good Wife, drawing the readers in and lingering long after they finish the final pages.


2. It allows Marta to become an unreliable narrator. As we only get her side of the story, her 1st person narrative automatically becomes unreliable.

Find out more about unreliable narrators

3. It sets the reader a challenge. Who is telling the truth? Should we believe Marta or Hector? We have more affinity with Marta, but does that mean that she is right?

Want to see the 1st person narrator in action?



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  1. Pingback: Writers Ask Writers: Second Novels | How To Be A Good Wife

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