The unreliable narrator

So it turns out that some narrators lie. 😤  

In all the examples we've looked at so far, we've assumed the narrator is telling the truth.

But sometimes narrators lie, exaggerate, obscure, or simply misunderstand what they are experiencing.

If that's the case, then we, as the audience, can't rely on their version of the truth.

We call these unreliable narrators.

We won't go into them in this lesson because it's almost impossible to tell if a narrator is lying (or even just wrong) from an isolated snippet: you usually the need the full context of the story.

We're just pointing out that they exist.

Or do they...? 🤔  

A bit of literary history: an iconic unreliable narrator is Baron Munchausen.

Munchausen was an 18th century German character based on a real-life baron who was famous for his improbable life stories, including his account of riding a cannonball shot from a cannon during a war with a Turkish sultan.

Baron Munchausen rides a cannonball by Oskar Herrfuth

(Baron Munchausen, by Oskar Herrfurth)

Do not trust anything this man says. ☝️