The Narrator In The Halifax Explosion

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Every narrative consists of both fabula and szujet. Fabula represents the chronological order of events as well as the necessary plot points. In comparison, szujet is the narrator’s method of delivering the story as well as the addition of supplemental elements to the plot. Fabula and szujet are also a part of the space time continuum in the world of any narrative. How long the narrator takes to tell the reader about events is known as szujet time. This essay will focus on the omniscient narrator in “The Halifax Explosion 1917” by MacLennan and their ability to shift the narrative perspective and jump through space and time (szujet time) throughout the story. The way the narrative is being delivered is very different before and after the explosion.…show more content…
1917” is where the narrator exhibits their exceptional storytelling ability by drawing the reader in with the use of sound and literary devices while simultaneously moving through time at various paces. By doing this, the narrator creates an illusion that entraps the reader. The heavy use of descriptions grounds the reader in the scene whilst the narrator is able to move through a twenty-five-minute time period in an incredibly nondescript manner. “Bells jangled, and megaphoned shouts came from both bridges” (MacLennan 76). The onomatopoeia used here engages the reader in the sound allusion and is furthered with the use of a simile in a later sentence “a shower of sparks splashed out from their screaming metal” (MacLennan 76). The usage of a literary device once again elicits an emotional response and heightens the reader’s acuity to the scene. The various devices are functioning to lock the reader in the text as the narrator weaves through time. Another example is “For a fraction of a second there was intense silence” (MacLennan 76). This is an incredibly powerful sentence as it able to greatly slow down time in the story while simultaneously capturing the attention of the reader with the strong juxtaposition of an intense silence. This literal skill masks the temporal changes that are happening
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