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May & June: Pachinko > Narrative Perspective

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message 1: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
Hi everyone!

I'm still in the process of reading Pachinko and I'm really enjoying it so far. Consider this a disclaimer, in case this subject is clarified later in the book in a way that I haven't caught on yet.

Something that has stood out to me in reading is the way that the story seems to be told from an omniscience perspective, such that we get the inner monologue of multiple characters in the span of a single scene. For example, we are privy to the thoughts of both Sunja and Hansu in a single scene.

This is interesting because, at least in most books I've read recently, it seems to be the fashion that fiction is written in a close perspective: perhaps in first person, or in third person but in which we are given access to the thoughts of a single character that a follow (either for the entire story or section by section).

I wonder if anyone has thoughts about how this impacts the way we follow this story? What is the significance of this perspective choice?


message 2: by Émilie (new)

Émilie (janeemil) | 7 comments I also enjoyed the omniscient perspective of the narrator in the story and the fact that the story jumped from one character to the next. I didn't find it cut up the story at all, it even helped keep the timeline intact and easy to follow.

I think the purpose of the omniscient narrator is to show the different perspectives of the characters, and I don't mean just telling the story from their point of view but really analyzing their reactions to the people around them and their emotional internal struggles. You really get to understand the why they say or do certain things.

This narrative style also facilitates our attachment to each character because we get to know them a lot better. We know how they think, feel and rationalize their behavior.


message 3: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Emma wrote: "I thought this book was very interesting using this point of view. After finishing the book, I think the author did this because her story became so broad that it involved so many different charact..."

I agree, I think Lee was also trying to show that her characters were not to be used as mouthpieces for every Korean. But that there were many perspectives involved in those moments of decision.

Hansu had been a Japanese sympathizer or at least someone who willingly worked with them. A Survivalist. A man. And someone who has had $ for a while.

Where Sunja, was a good foil for him; female; extremely poor, religious, and had non-existent thoughts on the Japanese one way or another.

Things like: (view spoiler)

All had different ways to approach it and thus, IMO Lee offered us two perspectives instead of a closed first person narrative.


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