An Investigation of Vague Narration and Reader Interpretation


This thesis project explores how narrators impact a reader’s interpretation of a story. Specifically, it investigates how a homodiegetic, externally-focalized, first-person narrator—a “vague” narrator, one that provides little internal detail or thought, leaving personal details unknown to the reader—causes individual readers to interpret a story differently. By researching this type of narration, this project provides new insight into how that narration influences the way a story is told. Further, it sheds light on the way readers perceive a story through narration, and how that perception can be skewed in order to encourage reader inference. These findings contribute to the larger discussion of the relationship between readers and narration, and will benefit those who study how reader experience influences the way a story is read, as well as those employing narrative techniques to write fiction.



Narration, Creative writing, Narrators, Readers, Reader interpretation, Interpretation, Vague narration, Gender, Homodiegetic narrators, External focalization