The Unreliable Narrator

The Unreliable Narrator

by Adam Huddleston

In literature, films, etc, an unreliable narrator is one which is not completely credible.  The story that they are telling you is either false or exaggerated.  What’s often interesting is that this may or may not be apparent to the narrator.  They could consciously be telling tall tales, or be affected by mental illness or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  

Examples of an unreliable narrator include: Pi Patel in both the novel and film versions of The Life of Pi and the main characters in Forrest Gump, Big Fish, and The Usual Suspects, Fight Club.  One of my favorite parts of reading a story or watching a movie with an unreliable narrator is seeing if the tale contains a twist ending.  These endings often show us what the true situation with the narrator was and are quite enjoyable.  

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