In a Grove

Unreliable Narration in "The Moonlit Road" and "In a Grove"

Both "The Moonlit Road" and "In a Grove" are murder mysteries that confront the reader with the question of truth in storytelling. The texts present the reader with several first person testimonies of a crime, or the witness' involvement in it, but give it no definite solution. No one is found guilty and hung; the reader has to decide, given the testimonies and his/her own reason, what happened in the Hetmans' estate and in the grove off the Yamashina stage road. Both texts challenge the reader to construct a definite story from several narratives of questionable reliability.

Both texts approach narrative with suspicion; it is a form of communication not to be trusted since it relies on narrators who can never be completely objective or disinterested. Each text presents only one relatively reliable narrator – Joel Hetman Jr. in "The Moonlit Road" and the woodcutter in "In a Grove". The rest of the narrators are not to be trusted. In "The Moonlit Road" the reader needs to rely on the statements of Casper Grattan, a man with no past, and of a ghost that does not think or feel like a human being any more. In "In a Grove" the reader realizes that each witness has...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 747 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4446 literature essays, 1450 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in