Question 5

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For me, there was something very appealing about the protagonist, and his innocence. Did the protagonist appeal to you? In a first person narrative, how important is the character of the narrator?

Comments

  • 1

    Yes, the protagonist did appeal to me. The sections where he struggles with the suspicion that his "friend" might not be telling him the truth were poignant for me. And when he himself decides to dissemble is a pretty potent description of the loss of his innocence.

    Sometimes, of course, the reader learns that the narrator might not be reliable, regardless of whether the narrator is first-person. We did find that in this case, but not because of untruthfulness on the part of the narrator. The narrator was learning that he himself might not be reliable, and that was at least interesting and maybe powerful to watch. It does bring up questions about our own first-person narration of our lives to ourselves. (Yes, I convinced myself it was powerful. :) )

  • 0

    I liked him a lot (for a time I wondered if He was in fact a She, and that this was going to be a big revelation later on in the book). But yes, it was refreshing to meet a protagonist who isn't determined to be cunning and scheming all the time.

  • 1

    I thought the narrator was wonderful, and greatly enjoyed his interaction with the world.

  • 1

    @RichardAbbott said:
    I liked him a lot (for a time I wondered if He was in fact a She, and that this was going to be a big revelation later on in the book).

    I assumed Piranesi was a woman for a long time. I don’t know why, maybe stereotypes about innocence?

  • 2

    Piranesi was innocent, naive, and without malice. That made them easy to have sympathy for, so I cared about them and that they did well. I liked that Piranesi never lied to us, the reader: the revelations about his past were as shocking to him as they were to us.

    I think it is important that the viewpoint character is someone I don't mind spending time with. I've stopped reading books when I've disliked the characters.

  • 1

    I really liked the protagonist, and that went a long way to my enjoying the book as a whole. Despite the innocence and naivety, I had a lot of faith in them - they had a lot of inner strength - while he was an unreliable narrator he wasn't unreliable in any other way. I felt like I was allowed to root for them because they weren't going to do anything stupid.

  • 2
    I liked him as well - kind and curious and responsible all wrapped up in one.
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