We will be examining pages 113-116 of The Story of Arbux with excerpts given below. Karoline uses narrative style in Arbux which reads as a single source explaining a story. This form of writing allows for a single story to be presented from a single observer, and provides a fireside feeling of a physical person reading the story outloud.
“We lived then a lot like you think you do now, boy. We lived close to nature for those few days. We ate a lot of dried fish and root-y veg- etables. We slept in small soil huts that were normally for giving shelter to the sheep farmers when they were caught out in a storm. Arbux had a pretty long leash, if you will. We hadn’t tied him up to anything of course, but we always had an eyeball or three on him at any given time. He walked ahead of us, and every now and then found an interesting rock or stump that he’d feel compelled to show me, but as a rule he kept his distance from the group, as I was inclined to do. Not out of suspicion, mind you; it was more like courte- sy, so that they could talk about me more freely without feeling like I was terribly worried about what they were going to say.”
The narrative style allows you to hear a first person account of how the character grew up. You can feel what they are describing, and your imagination can almost tast the dried fish and root veggies as narratives basically play like an audio recording in your head. You put the voice of the character in your head and read from that voice/head/place.
“Like that snowstorm that locked us down at the farmstead for a month. We could have left sooner, I suppose, but the farmer need- ed our help what with his oldest boy falling sick. So we stayed and helped. It’s what you did back then. It was hard work, much harder and colder and much more unpleasant than I had ever done before. But I did it. I had discipline, boy. I had self-reliance. I owed it to the men who were helping me to make sure I didn’t make a fool of them. I was industrious, boy. Something both you and your brother could do a little polishing up on.”
The way the narrator feeds the description, builds our minds to construct what the character is relating. Narratives allow the reader to create the world, they build it from the ground up, without needing too much direction, they can create a unified and connected root with the story because of the narrative being built.