Free Indirect Speech and Psychoanalytic Criticism of Hemingway and Other Authors
Psychological analysis of narration depends a great deal upon knowing to which characters to attribute what observations and opinions. The psychological drives shape how characters see and interpret events, as well as the way characters act and speak. Hemingway often uses a style of narration which rhetoricians call "free indirect speech," in which an apparently third-person narrator (no quotation marks) speaks from the point of view of one of the characters, representing events colored with the emotional point of view of that character rather than remaining indifferent. In "On the Quai at Smyrna," for example, after the first sentences, the narrative almost completely takes on the speech mannerisms of a British naval officer, though clearly this is a second person's memory of stories the officer once told. "Cat in the Rain" also appears to "channel" for the emotional point of view of one character over all others, and identifying this effect can help you use the narrator's free indirect speech patterns as evidence of that character's state of mind. Click here for Ellen Moody's (George Mason U.) discussion of "free indirect speech" in Jane Austen. Hemingway does not use quotation marks to distinguish it, but "FIS" often appears to shape the psychological perspective of his stories' third-person narrators. This could help you see and hear more clearly which characters' psyches are being reflected in the unquoted passages.