The Tale of Despereaux – Literature – Narrative Point of View

The adventures within the four books are told from a third person omniscient narrator. An all-knowing narrator who is not part of the actual story leads the reader through the whole book. He introduces characters and interacts with the reader by giving hints or recommendations like looking up unfamiliar words in a dictionary. The narrator’s advising function as tutor supports the understanding of young learners and stretches their vocabulary knowledge. Moreover, the narrator highlights parallels between different characters. For instance, in the second book, when the reader is introduced to the rat Roscuro, the narrator makes it clear that the story is occurring at the same time than Desperaux’s but in the deep dark of the castle – the dungeon. In addition, this kind of narrative point of view offers the opportunity to lead the focus on whatever is significant to the author such as making a certain character more sympathetic. The storyteller’s treatment, for instance, of Miggery Sow displays that even less likable characters can be made more likeable and relatable. Through the narrator’s rather compassionate descriptions of the little poor girl, the reader not only sympathizes with Mig’s pain and struggles; the reader even wants her to find a happy ending, too. To sum up, the storyteller of The Tale of Desperaux plays a decisive role in moving the plot and helping readers with their understanding. Moreover, the storyteller’s lyrical gift and clear love of language is contagious and engaging.