Echo – Literature – Narrative Point of View

Echo is written from a third-person narrator’s point of view, though from different perspectives. The fairytale section is presented from Otto’s perspective, revealing his motivations and thoughts. There might arise some doubts about the narrator’s reliability, as Otto’s friends do not believe his story about the magical harmonica and the princesses. Nevertheless, he seems to be a reliable character, because of his detailed descriptions of the magical incident, closely connected to his feelings at that time.

The first story is told from Friedrich’s perspective. The third-person narrator reveals the protagonist’s worries, by using the free indirect discourse: “Was his face a crime? Wasn’t there more to him than his birthmark and an illness he no longer had?” (ibid. 101). Through this stylistic device, the reader empathizes with the narrator and therefore judges him to be reliable.

The second story is presented from Mike’s perspective. Despite his young age he had to experience a breach of trust several times. The bad treatment at the orphanage is just one example to mention. He lacks in trust and therefore views his environment negatively. Consequently, the reader is confronted with a rather subjective point of view, full of prejudices.

The third story is written from the perspective of Ivy. She is a reliable character, describing her situation in detail, but her perspective is flawed and influenced by her subjective nature.