Joseph C. Pozda - Honors in English
Secrets Revealed: The Narrative Techniques in Confessional Literature


This project examines the narrative techniques utilized by the authors within fictional criminal confessions. The author will choose to create and use a particular narrator within the confession in order produce a certain effect within the reader in the end. In order for the author to successfully fulfill this task, a relationship must be created between the reader and the narrator. The kind of relationship will depend entirely on the reliability of the narrator. The approaches the reader takes to secure a legitimate understanding of the text (as well as the effect) will be illustrated in my examination of four fictional confessions. Three chapters deal with short stories: Eudora Welty's "Where is the Voice Coming From?," Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat," and Jorge Luis Borges' "The Garden of the Forking Paths." The final examination chapter will look at Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita. Each will prove that fictional confessions are a complicated and unique literary genre. By delving into the underlying techniques and narrator's complicated language invented by the author, I will uncover the path to constructing successful confessions.