As in, make their own value judgements and interpret other characters subjectively, and not be the actual author's own views? Does an omniscient author have to be reliable? Because at the moment, I'm reading "Carmen og Maja", and in this short story, the narrator describes Carmen and Maja as an outside observer of their lives; however, the narrator makes value judgements and his/her own subjective comments about them. The narrator even interprets one character's thoughts (I think).

The story is obviously interpreted trough my eyes, but just go with it for the sake of the question. Throughout the story, the narrator says Carmen is gazing at men in a certain way, wearing certain clothes to get attention, sitting in a way to seduce boyfriends. Carmen has done nothing to warrant the narrator's sexual description and word choices regarding her. In other words, the omniscient narrator is subjective.

This is further evidenced by the fact that he/she contrasts Carmen, as a "provocative" and "excotic" gypsy, with the "nordic face" of the "modest" and "dependable" Maja. Maja, is dependent on her boyfriend for money (compared to Carmen who is independent). However, the narrator makes subjective judgments and comments about Maja as well: "And when womenfolk get what they want, without reason, the sheer unreasonableness, then you shall have thanks. Then one knows the clock has stricken." Here, the narrator goes into Maja's boyfriend's mind and interpret his thoughts—is that possible?—and it's clear that the narrator is sympathic to the boyfriend when the narrator says, "He's in no way as close-minded as the foolish Maja. He knows no guilt. And to high degree is wrongly treated."

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However, I've read that omniscient can't be subjective, unless it's written in third person limited. And that if an observing omniscient narrator makes a value judgment or subjective comment, it's either the objective reality of that fictional works, or the author's of views. This, however makes no sense to me. For me, the author creates the work. But the omniscient narrator is a fictional character who the author tells the story trough. In other words, trough either a subjective or objective—depending on the author's choice—lens. So can an observing narrator be subjective? And not be the actual author's own views? Does an omniscient author have to be reliable? And also, is it possible for an omniscient narrator to interpret thoughts?

–> I'm not talking about third person limited.

–> I'm pretty sure the the narrator's comments are not the author's views, since she's a pretty famous feminist writer. I'd argue that the story is actually about how women are viewed by society which is filtered trough the male lens; about the Madonna-whore-complex; about sexism and racism etc. So the story itself is pretty feminist.

Source: reddit post


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