Our Mutual Friend Literary Elements

Our Mutual Friend Literary Elements


A novel

Setting and Context

London, the 19th century

Narrator and Point of View

The author uses the third-person narration. This method helps him not to tell the story just through the prism of one character’s mind, but to tell it from different sides.

Tone and Mood

The story is written clearly, without any too long philosophical tangents.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonists of the story are all the characters and the antagonists are some their traits, social environment, etc, which make them change themselves, become better (or, on the contrary, even die).

Major Conflict

The major conflict develops between all the characters of the story and many different factors which affected their lives: some their traits, their environment etc.


The culmination of the story takes place when John Harmon comes back to the city, but with the fictitious name. After that moment lives of all characters change in some way.


The author warns about many things in this story: he calls not to be greedy for money, to be sincere in love, to always try to become better, etc.




The author sometimes alludes to different famous people or characters, such as Cymon , Lazarus etc.


see the imagery section




This method is being used through the whole story: the author writes about lives of different people, “jumping” from one storyline to another.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

The author sometimes uses these methods such as in this case: “Miss Lavinia came up to show them where to go next, perceived three pairs of listening legs upon the stairs above. Mrs Wilfer's legs, Miss Bella's legs, Mr George Sampson's legs.” (synecdoche)


not used in the story

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