Narrator

Text: 
Display Name: 
Narrator
Sort Name: 
Unnamed Narrator
AKA: 
Chick Mallison
Charles Mallison
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Alive
Narrator: 
First Person
Biography: 

Although the narrator of "Monk" is never named in the text, he is undoubtedly Charles Mallison, more commonly known as "Chick," who also narrates two other Knight's Gambit stories, as well as much of The Town (1957) and The Mansion (1959). The narrator refers to Stevens as "my Uncle Gavin" (48), and Gavin Stevens only has one nephew throughout Faulkner's body of work. In the various fictions where he appears, including Intruder in the Dust (1948), Chick has a father/son relationship with Stevens and often passes time in Stevens's office or following his uncle as he researches various legal cases. In "Monk," however, he is a more elusive figure who does not appear as an active character. The first word of the story is "I," and the first paragraph foregrounds on his own quest, in "art," to make a credible story out of "the nebulous and inexplicable material" that Monk's life left behind (41), but for the rest of the story Faulkner essentially deploys him as a kind of third-person narrator, not exactly omniscient, but aware of many things, from the lower-class life in the county to the thoughts inside Gavin's head, that an omniscient narrator would have access to. However, from other fictions we know that Chick is quite interested in the law, which adds a layer of significance to the story he's telling, about the way the legal system fails Monk.

Individual or Group: 
Individual
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Character