I don’t believe this can be considered a spoiler but it is more like a great TIP on my part. I refer to the illusion a writer creates when to throw of the reader in such easy and clever way. I’ve been reading other mystery novels lately and I’ve noticed a few patterns in some of the stories. It’s interesting how our perception change with such ease.
Our minds usually work in a certain way and sometimes they can be as easily tricked without us knowing it. Let’s proceed with examples of how our perception of a puzzle change with the unreliable narrator.
Example 1.0 :
[It’s been raining outside. Lately, I haven’t gone to the supermarket because I haven’t had the time. I wish I could. Anyway, I go out buy groceries. I come back after half an hour. End of story]
What did you think of it? Did it make sense? Yes. Is there anything particularly peculiar about it? No. Is it relatively coherent? Yes. Does it seem conclusive? Yes.
Example 2.0 :
[It’s been raining outside. I can hear the raindrops from here. Lately, I haven’t gone to the supermarket because haven’t had the time. I wish I could but I’m still so tired. Suddenly, I go out to buy groceries. I come back after half an hour. I spotted the only umbrella on the house sitting there dry by the entrance. End of story]
What did you think of it? Did it make sense? Yes. Is there anything particularly peculiar about it? Yes. Is it relatively coherent? Sort of. Does it seem conclusive? Relatively.
Example 3.0 :
[It’s been heavily raining outside. Lately my brother has been wanting to go shopping but hadn’t had the time. I think I could do it and buy the groceries instead of him this time. But we live so far away and with this heavy rain I wouldn’t make it on time for my favorite show that is coming up in 15 minutes. If my brother could make more time for himself I suppose he could. He’s too tired though. There he is lying on the sofa sleeping]
What did you think of it? Did it make sense? Yes. Is there anything particularly peculiar about it? Yes. Is it relatively coherent? Even more. Does it seem conclusive? Yes.
What are the differences between all three? The 1st is told from the perspective of “I”, this person perspective and how this person wants to go to the supermarket but hadn’t had the time to do so. The rain is credited to be the real and the reason why this person is not going out on that day, but still does it eventually. Neither gender, age, or anything else outside of this person’s point of view is mentioned. The rain is the only thing we’re sure of because this person mentions it.
The 2nd one mentions all the details from the 1st example and adds more. “it’s been raining outside and I can hear the raindrops from here” indicates this person isn’t directly looking at the rain but is simply hearing the sound of it. This person shows *wishful thinking* then explains to the reader that he/she can’t because of exhaustion atm. The reason is justified and why it’s not possible are explained. Suddenly, this person goes shopping and utterly ignores what has just been said. Lastly, this person comes back only half an hour after being done shopping only to find a dry umbrella sitting on the entrance. The last part makes us question why didn’t *I* take the umbrella if it was heavily raining outside?
The 3rd example explains both the 1st and the 2nd examples and eliminates the inconsistencies in them. It is no longer from the perspective of *I* or whoever is the main subject of both examples. This third-party corroborates the fact that it has been heavily raining outside. The party mentions the gender of *I* for the first two examples as a brother. The third-party corroborates the fact that his brother has been planning to go shopping but hadn’t and this day probably won’t be any different.
The third-party then mentions they live far away and coming back in 30m would be impossible no matter how fast they go in addition to the heavy rain making the first two claims impossible leading us to question if *I* even went shopping or not. Finally, the third-party lets out the secret that *I* has been overworking and is lying on the sofa making the first two claims once again a wishful thinking of his brother’s (the brother wanted to do something but couldn’t and this is reflected on the dream) and explains why of the several inconsistencies in the story.
That’s three different POVs. The first is from *I* and I provided little information on what’s happening. The second *I* provides the same information and adds more but at the same time opens up the possibility of inconsistencies to exist. The third explains both the 1st and 2nd and provides a reasonable explanation for both by a third-party who knows what is happening. Of course, we can’t deny the possibility of the third-party being part of a dream of yet another party.
There are many ways to accomplish this as you can see. Even the way how Umineko starts is by showing Kinzo having a conversation with Nanjo which probably didn’t happen at that time (albeit we can’t know whether it DID happen a long time ago or not). Because we acknowledged his existence at the start of the games we were led to a series of erroneous reasoning like the 1st and 2nd *I*’s point of view. Only a third-party knew the answer to it. At the same time the third-party had no idea of what *I* was thinking on both the 1st and 2nd parts. Therefore, certain truths are reached based on whose point of view we’re looking the story from.
This effect is similar to what happens in many stories. The *first scenes* which usually the reader doesn’t pay as much attention to them because he wants to get to the good parts . They’re most critical because we hardly know anything about the characters in the story so the information given can not be completely reliable. Even in some cases the information comes from the culprit himself and the reader is led by the nose the whole time until the very end. So pay close attention to the initial parts of a mystery. You’ll see that you’ll notice something you didn’t pick up on it the first time. I assure you.
End of entry.
Btw, I played additional tricks on this entry for those that noticed it I’ll reveal it. The first trick was the fact that I used a female pic when in fact I refer to *I* as a brother later. The 2nd was that this entry and the pic aren’t related at all. The third trick was that POV and *trick* were introduced to put everyone on alert. The 4th trick was that *rain* part which would normally make someone believe the event was in fact happening and *I* was fully conscious. The 5th trick was the *wish* then the extremely *exhausted* were both huge hints that the person never didn’t go to the supermarket. The two final hints were the dry umbrella and living far away yet coming back only 30m. Of course, the last trick was that there is a great probability you’ll be reading this last part after having read the rest.