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Assignment publish: Oral Report
There are benefits and disadvantages to the use of first person narration. As Holden tells the story from his own point of view, we get to know him intimately, and we’re privy to all his inner thoughts and emotions. While the choice of first person narrative makes the story very private and very engaging, it also limits what we see and hear.
In other words, if Holden doesn’t feel like telling us what’s happening on the other side of the room, he doesn’t have to. Similarly, Holden could change details, or give emphasis in a very subjective way. Did Stratlater really punch him with his fist, or did he just push Holden? Was the woman on the train really the mother of one of his classmates? Was there even a woman on the train at all or did he invent her to make things more interesting? Ultimately, we can only take his word for it that he is accurately telling us what was said, what happened in any given situation, etc.
Subsequently, you are going to experiment with 3rd person narration and explore some of the details Holden might be leaving out.
Imagine that you are in the Lavender Room, described on Page 69 Page Numbers. Take a bird’s eye view of the room, where everything is seen, every word is heard.
Using third person pronouns (he, she, it, they), pretend that you are a reporter, talking into a voice recorder. Describe the scene as Holden enters the room, meets the three girls, and dances with them. Be as creative as you like, but try to maintain a few of the facts of Holden’s narrative to tie your piece directly to the novel.
When your recording is complete, submit it to the publish: Oral Report dropbox for feedback from your teacher.
The Oral Report Checklist on the following page will outline what your teacher will provide feedback on for this publish.