Concept of Narration Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Biblical Fiction

Julian Barnes' A History of the World in 101/2 Chapters functions somewhat like a novel and somewhat like a collection of short stories. Each of the tales within this manuscript is distinct from one another. Still, the stories do cross reference one another and some of the characters appear in multiple tales. One of the most thought-provoking of these narratives is the first one, which the author entitled "The Stowaways." This story provides a particularly biased account of the Book of Genesis and its tale of Noah's Ark. However, the story is narrated by a woodworm, which was one type of animal that Noah did not select to sail with him. The story greatly parallels that in Genesis except for the way that the main character -- Noah -- is portrayed. In this work he is rendered an inept alcoholic who only survived the storm and fulfilled God's bidding due to luck and the prowess of his companions. A careful analysis and evaluation of this work, however, reveals that the biased viewpoint of the woodworm narrator was definitely hyperbolic, as narrated in this essay by the birds.

One of the most eminent takeaways for the somewhat partisan narration of the story "The Stowaways,," which was masterfully portrayed by a woodworm in Barnes' sterling and extremely accurate view of the word's history, is that the woodworms are very prone to exaggeration. This is a fact which almost any other species of animals on that fateful ark can verify, and not just the perspective of us birds. In fact, one can clearly understand the fact that it is all but impossible for the woodworms to render any other version of this tale but their own biased version in which they greatly slander the forces of Christianity -- which is what, more than any other character in this tale, Noah represents. As such, the woodworms waste no opportunity to disparage this dutiful servant of God. However, what is truly important about this fact is the reason why the woodworm is this way. Noah was supposed to select only the pure animals to go with him on the ark and eventually repopulate the earth. The woodworm and his ilk did not fit this description, and thus were not selected. The woodworm's animosity over this fact is evinced in the subsequent passage. "I was not chosen…I was specifically not chose. I was a stowaway" (Barnes 8). Moreover, it is quite clear that my dead friend the woodworm believes that he was marginalized in this instance in which he and other woodworms (and other creatures not judged to be pure enough for the Ark) were not selected for the Ark, which he explains is "why we had to stowaway" (Barnes 11). As such, the woodworm not only opposes Noah because he symbolizes Christianity, but also because he symbolizes humanity which…

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Works Cited

Barnes, Julian. A History of the World in 101/2Chapters. New York: Vintage Books.

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