A comparative analysis of child narrative perspective and adult narrative perspective: the case of we need new names, patchwork and ‘a hug from uncle Peter’

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Muleya, Sharon Malama
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The University of Zambia
The aim of this study is to make a comparative analysis of child and adult narrative perspectives in We Need New Names by Noviolet Bulawayo from Zimbabwe, Patchwork by Ellen Banda-Aaku from Zambia and ‘A Hug from Uncle Peter’ by Cheela Chilala from Zambia. The study is informed by the theory of Narratology by Genette (1980), limiting the narratological techniques to focalisation, narrator and narrating mode. The viability of the study in the fictional world of literature is to see and believe that the child narrator, though a creation of the author is a real child (narrator) in the narrative. Thus, the child narrator must be seen in a true sense as a real child in all aspects in these adult fictions for the feasibility of the study. The study examines how a child and adult narrator sees and tells what they see, making comparisons from the point from which they see and tell. The study has compared the child and adult perspectives in the texts under study Similarities and differences will be drawn from the two narrative perspectives in the texts under study. The significance of these have been analysed to show how they affect the narrative. It may thus be argued that child and adult narrators both being creations of the author are mere tools for the transmission of the author’s message. The child narrator can assume the level of maturity of an adult. The child and adult perspectives give variety to the narrative as they have different shades in terms of tone, voice and mood and these render the narrative a success. The naivety and experience of the child and adult perspective balance the narrative. Therefore, the author’s creation of the two perspectives in the same narrative allows them to experiment with their narrators for the god of the narrative. The similarities and differences all work to comprehensively reveal information to the reader. It is these nuances brought out by the two perspectives which enrich the narrative. Keywords: Focalisation, Narrative, Fabula, Perspective.
Narration(Rhetoric) , Discourse analysis, Narrative