Essay strategies of point of view/focalisation, reader positioning

Essay title: Stella Street

How do narrative strategies of point of view/focalisation, reader positioning and closure work together to produce the class politics encoded in 45 & 47 Stella Street?The story of 45 & 47 Stella Street and everything that happened (Honey, E 2000) is written from a first person narrative perspective. This is evident from page 5 of the book when the narrator, Henni introduces herself to the reader and does not from change from Henni to another narrator throughout the text. The reader sees the story through Henni’s point of view of the world around her.

The implied reader would be aimed at children around the same age as Henni so the reader can relate to her.The author attempts to imply that Henni is a reliable narrator from the moment the reader is first introduced to Henni. There is a picture of a tall girl which is Henni and a statement in which Henni says �I’m the tallest girl in our school. I’m not the oldest or the cleverest or the prettiest or the funniest but I sure am the tallest which nobody can deny’ (Honey 2000, p.

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5). This honest statement encourages the reader to see Henni as reliable narrator. In the story Henni is frequently writing letters to God asking for his help with certain matters like when Old Aunt Lillie went to heaven and she asked God to give her a good spot (p.10). Usually most people associate someone who prays or writes notes to God as a reliable and trustworthy person. The fact that the story is seen through Henni’s eyes, thoughts and opinions the reader is positioned to agree with what is being described to them by Henni.

Class politics are introduced to the story when the Phonies arrive in Stella Street. The Phonies are disliked as soon as they arrive in Stella Street because of the renovations they make on Old Aunt Lillie’s house and the children of Stella Street make fun of the fact that the Phonies refurnish the house (p.13). Henni encourages the reader to make fun of the high class Phonies about the way they speak, because the Phonies use words such as �dinnah’ and �daaaarling’ (p.18). This shows the Phonies in a negative way enticing the audience to take Henni’s side or a middle class approach to the story. When the Phonies send a note from their lawyer to Frank’s family for a proposal of a new fence (p.22) they are once again looked at poorly.

The Phonies are criticised for responding formally with a complaint of their next door neighbours. When the family receives the letter Rob says �And why didn’t they just say “Let’s talk about a new fence!” instead of coming out guns blazing with all this solicitor’s letter nonsense’ (p.23). This quote makes the Phonies look like unreasonable people. Henni, Danielle, Zev, Frank and their friends and families are all portrayed as middle class people.All these people seem to agree that there is something strange about the high class Phonies and want to find a way to get them out of their street.Henni also makes fun of the lower class dog catcher Mr W.

P. Burgess. She refers to Mr Burgess as �Hitler’ and accuses him of looking like a �garbo’ (p.43). Henni also describes Mr Burgess.

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