First-Person Point of View: Nameless Narrator
Cortazar makes a strategic decision when he writes ‘‘End of the Game’’ in the first-person point of view. A first-person narrator tells no more than he or she knows—and in fact, in this story there are many things the reader never learns, such as what Letitia writes in her letter to Ariel. In addition, the first-person point of view allows the reader to see this situation from the point of view of a child. The Narrator views Letitia as the ‘‘luckiest and the most privileged of the three of us,’’ a unique point of view that no adult would share when evaluating Letitia’s situation.
‘‘End of the Game’’ is narrated by a central character who remains nameless throughout the story. Her nameless status is likely due to her relationship with Letitia. Letitia overshadows the Narrator to the extent the Narrator seems to lack her own identity separate and apart from Letitia. Indeed, Letitia’s presence and her illness seems to dominate the entire family. When Letitia is unwell everyone caters to her, her mood governs the mood at the dinner table, and family members seem to consider Letitia above all else when making decisions. When Letitia quits the game, for example, the other two girls do not continue playing themselves, but accede to her wishes.
Sara Constantakis – Short Stories for Students – Presenting Analysis, Context & Criticism on Commonly Studied Short Stories, vol. 31, Julio Cortazar, Published by Gale Group, 2010