Posted by RachelE on June 20, 2011
In a homodiegetic narrative, the story is told by a narrator who is also one of story’s acting characters, meaning the narrator is also a character on the level of action (Jahn N1.10). In a heterodiegetic narrative, the story is told by a narrator who is not present as a character in the story. The narrator has a different nature compared to the rest of the characters in the story (Jahn N1.10). In Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes, the narrator is a homodiegetic narrator who plays a major role in the action of the story. At one point in the story, “the pleasant history stopped and was left unfinished” (Cervantes 106). The narrator then becomes a character and the responsibility of “searching for the conclusion of this agreeable story” (Cervantes 107) falls to the narrator. Although the story of Don Quixote cannot continue, the narrator decides to tell the readers the story of how the continuation of the history was found, and how when finding papers containing a similar story, “immediately the thought struck me that these parchments contained the history of Don Quixote” (Cervantes 108). The story could not have continued without the help of the narrator. Even though the narrator is not present in the action of the history of Don Quixote, the presence of the narrator is evident in the overall story itself, and it would not be a complete story without the narrator. The reliance on the narrator for the story to occur makes the narrator homodiegetic.
De Cervantes, Miguel. Don Quixote of La Mancha. Trans. Walter Starkie. New York: Signet Classic, 1964. Print.