Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Clifford J. Hand

First Committee Member

Clair C. Olson

Second Committee Member

Martha Pierce


The problem or point of view, or angle of vision, Is one that deeply concerned Henry James all through his writing career. It will be the aim of this study to define James' position on point of view and the use of a narrator, and then, by reference to the works under question, to see how subtly he uses the limited omniscient or the restricted multiple point of view in his early novels and the intensely concentrated single "centre" of consciousness perspective In his later ones. To this writer's knowledge there has been no critical analysis of this specific technique of James' art and its crucial relationship to his stage experience,

In accomplishing this aim this study will (1) define the critical position of Henry James with reference to the narrator as a technical device stemming from his stage experiences in 1895 and reported in his notebooks and In the collected prefaces; (2) show James' development of the narrator as a technical device through an examination of representative passages from The American, a novel of his early period, The Portrait of a Lady, one from his middle period, and The Ambassadors, a work of his later period; and (3) discuss the use of the shifting points of view as they occur In the limited multiple perspective of The Portrait of a Lady and the restricted single "centre" of consciousness focus of The Ambassadors.





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