Narrator protagonist characteristics and examples

Philip Kelley

The protagonist narrator It is the voice that tells the story of a story or story from its perspective, since it is the main actor or character and it is to whom the central events of the plot occur. In other words, this type of narrator reveals the facts in the first person because he is the one who stars in them..

In general, the main narrator does not have the ability to know or interpret the actions and thoughts of the rest of the characters in the story. This is due to the fact that what happens to him counts and therefore is subjective. Literary works based on autobiographies, memoirs, and diaries make use of this variety of storyteller..

The main narrator tells the story of the events that he himself lived

Now, the main narrator not only uses the “I” (first person singular) to tell his story, but he also applies it to reflect, doubt or ask himself questions. The following example illustrates this type of storyteller: “… I spent my leisure hours reading the best ancient and modern authors…”.

Article index

  • 1 Characteristics of the main narrator
    • 1.1 - First person
    • 1.2 - Subjective
    • 1.3 - Does not know the experiences of other characters
  • 2 Examples of protagonist narrator
    • 2.1 "The lightning on the shore" (Juan Ortiz)
    • 2.2 "The kindergarten" (Juan Ortiz)
    • 2.3 References

Characteristics of the protagonist narrator

Main storytellers are common in teen fantasy novels

The main narrator presents the following characteristics:

- First person

Excerpt from The name of the wind, a novel in which there is a protagonist narrator

The main narrator tells the events in the first person singular because at the same time he reveals what happens to him, that is, his own story. Manifest your feelings, thoughts, ideas, actions, and emotions.


Memories of the subsoil by Fyodor Dostoevsky:

"... I have felt ashamed the whole time I wrote them, so they are not literature but a punishment".

- Subjective

The protagonist narrator when telling his own story makes use of subjectivity. This means that he narrates the facts from his point of view and therefore shows partiality. In the same way, he arranges the story according to his vision and convenience..


"The castaway of Cubagua" (Juan Ortiz)

I don't remember how I got to shore, or what exactly happened to my ship. I only remember being sailing towards Isla de Margarita, and everything got cloudy, out of nowhere. I crawled to a nearby uvero after the sun woke me with its fiery rays. It must have been twelve o'clock noon, I knew it from my shadow.

The thirst increased, I could feel the blood on my cracked lips as I saw the remains of my boat being rocked by the waves. He would have given anything for a simple sip of fresh water in that instant. The image of the lonely beach lasted only five minutes, and then I lost my mind again. No, I didn't know how I got to the hospital in Margarita either.

- Does not know the experiences of other characters

The main narrator focuses on his own story, therefore he does not know what happens to the other characters in the story. In this sense, they do not know what they feel, think or are going to do. This aspect differentiates this type of narrator from the omniscient.


"The castaway of Cubagua" (Juan Ortiz)

Moments after I had opened my eyes, a nurse arrived. She was cadaverous, skinny, for an instant I thought it was the same death that was coming for me, and out of sheer piety she dressed in white and brought me saline solution. I wanted him to leave, to disappear everything, and to get out of there to fulfill the objective that I had set for myself since I got on my ship on land.

Examples of protagonist narrator

"The lightning on the shore" (Juan Ortiz)

I was lying on some nets in Felipe Veda's bower. It was 3:00 in the morning and I hadn't been able to sleep at all. The rain was pouring down on the thatched roof, and the multiple leaks were running all over the place; there were three where I slept - almost jets of water, constant-.

I had to get up to go to the bathroom, the strong waves and the huge breeze made a stormy orchestra. The ships in the distance looked like steeds riding the tide. They could be seen in the flashes of intermittent lightning. Upon reaching the latrine I felt a look on the back of my neck ... I knew I was alone, but the presence was extremely real.

I turned around quickly, and couldn't see anything. Hallucinations of mine, I thought. After finishing and walking a few steps, one of the palm trees next to the building was struck by lightning. The roar of thunder brought me down, and I was nearly blinded by the glare. When I got up, about five minutes later, I went straight to see the place where the lightning struck.

There it was, the palm tree fell from the middle, and both the trunk in the wet sand and the remains of the plant burned with an unforgiving deep blue fire. He did not understand what he was observing. There I was contemplating for ten minutes. "It's amazing, no," I heard right next to me. Turning around, I could see it. It was the being that watched me a short time ago. A spectral entity, translucent.

-Who are you? What do you want? -I told him, in a total calm.

-I am not, we are, and I include you. Look behind you -he told me.

When I turned I could see hundreds like him, and five meters from me, my body stretched out, split in two and burning in a strange blue fire..

"The kindergarten" (Juan Ortiz)

Don't ask me how, but I remember everything. He must have been about 3 years old at the time. You are not supposed to have a stable memory at that age, and you shouldn't remember anything, but I do. It was my first day in kindergarten. There were 28 boys there, 13 of whom were girls.

The teacher's name was Claudia. She was about 28 years old, and on her own account she had decorated the whole place with motifs alluding to a circus. At that first meeting we introduced ourselves, each one saying their name, the name of their parents and where they came from. After a half hour the flash came, and then I didn't hear from me for the next 10 years.

When I woke up, my parents were gone, I was in a hospital from that moment. The doctors were surprised to see me wake up, it was almost a miracle. From that kindergarten in Hiroshima, I had been the only survivor.


  1. (2019). Spain: Wikipedia. Recovered from:
  2. Pérez, J. (2019). Definition of protagonist narrator. (N / A): Definition. From. Recovered from:
  3. Raffino, M. (2019). Concept of protagonist narrator. (N / A): Concept. From. Recovered from:
  4. Types of narrators and their characteristics. (2017). (N / A): Central de Escritura. Recovered from:
  5. 15 examples of narrator in first, second and third person. (2019). Colombia: Examples. Recovered from:

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