College of Arts and Sciences
Arts and Humanities
Bradley, Emily, "Shaping Readers: The Moral Impact of Narrators" (2019). Senior Honors Theses. 821.
Readers who consume stories have the potential to be changed and impacted by the content of narratives. The authors of stories hold a good deal of the influence when it comes to stories, and the characters of the stories—the ones the readers fall in love with or root for or dread—also play a part in reader development. The narrators of the stories, however, are the voices that are presenting the stories, and it is through their worldviews that the readers are most fundamentally shaped. The narrators of The Great Gatsby, The Awakening, The Things They Carried, and the Harry Potter series craft worlds, tell histories, and expose cultural problems that are understood and wholly accepted by the narratee—an ideal audience for the individual story, also created by the author. However, the real readers who dive into their stories’ worlds are the ones affected by the morality presented. Each of these four narrators relay stories rich with content and moral implications, and it is the voice of the narrator and how closely the reader aligns with the narratee that impacts and challenges the audiences’ views of morality.