ISC The Chinese Statue Workbook Answer
Discuss the significance of using the technique of story within a story as a narrative methodology in the story, ‘The Chinese Statue’.
‘The Chinese Statue’ is an interesting story taken from Jeffrey Archer’s collection of short stories. It is a story about a statue which was brought to London by Sir Alexander from China, when he was posted there as an ambassador.
The story follows the technique of story within story, which is also termed as nested fiction.The outer story or the frame story is narrated in the first person singular, the narrator appears to be a lover of art and is therefore, present at the Sotheby’s auction house as a bidder. He is the one, who buys ‘The Chinese Statue’ without base, for seven hundred and twenty guineas.
In such a literary device, the outer story or the frame story does not have much matter, and the bulk of work consists of one or more complete stories, called the core story, which is narrated by a Character in the outer story. There is often come parallel between the two stories, and the friction of the core story is used to reveal the truth in the outer story.
In this story. the frame story involves the incident that happens at Sotheby’s auction house. where an auction of specimen number. Lot 103 of a delicate piece of ivory is being made. The catalogue that the narrator studied, read that the statue had been purchased in Ha Li Chuan and was ‘the property of a gentleman’. That makes that narrator anxious to know the details about the statue and its owner and leads him to do some research, which forms the
content of the core story.
The core story, which deals with the story of how Sir Alexander Heathcote, a British diplomat. got the Chinese Statue and how it reached Sotheby’s auction, is narrated by the same narrator, who narrated the frame story, but in the third person. The events are presented from the viewpoint of the narrator. He attached more value to the statue than its base. That is why, even though, he was aware of the fact that it was fake, he bought it.
It was this statue, which remained for generation with the descendents of Sir Alexander Heathcote, until his latest descendent, Alex Heathcote decided to sell it. That is how the statue reached the Sotheby’s auction house. Thus, the narrative technique of the story beautifully connects both core story and frame story, and gives it proper ending with explanation.
ISC Echoes Notes