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narratee


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The imagined person whom the narrator is assumed to be addressing in a given narrative. The narratee is a notional figure within the ‘space’ of the text itself, and is thus not to be confused either with the real reader or with the implied reader (who is addressed by the implied author at a separate ‘level’). Narratees are often hard to identify clearly, since they are not usually described or characterized explicitly. In some works, though, they appear as minor characters, especially in a frame story (e.g. the Wedding Guest in Coleridge's ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’), and in some they even function as narrators as well: Lockwood, the narratee of Nelly's embedded narratives in Wuthering Heights, is the narrator of the story as a whole.

Subjects: Literature.


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