Erana Leiken

Date of Award

Spring 1970

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




The purpose of this thesis is to examine the unique role of the peripheral narrator in Moby-Dick, Heart of Darkness and The Great Gatsby. Each narrator's point of view is unique in that, though he is a character within the story, his participation in the action is restricted by his peripheral status which allows him to witness and evaluate the other characters, particularly the pro­tagonlst. The distinguishing characteristic of this narrative frame necessitated by the use of such a narrator is that the author surrenders his omniscience regarding his other characters by letting his narrator tell the reader only what he as an observer legitimately discovers. The reader has available to him the thoughts, feelings and perceptions of the witness-narrator who views the story from what may be called the wandering periphery.