Dr. KIRAN RAKIBE
DEPT. OF ENGLISH
KSKW ARTS, COMMERCE, & SCIENCE COLLEGE
CIDCO, NASIK, MAHARASHTRA
Dr. PAYEL DUTTA CHOWDHURY
SCHOOL OF ARTS & HUMANITIES
REVA UNIVERSITY, BENGALURU, KARNATAKA
Memory has always played an important role in flash-back narratives. Julian Barnes’ 2011 Man Booker Prize Winner novel, The Sense of an Ending, explores the limitations of memory after the lapse of a period of time. Written in a typical Barnes’ style, the one hundred and fifty pages short novella, reflects on the possibilities of imperfect memory and the consequences of it. Barnes’ protagonist, Tony, narrates the story of his life and while doing so, seems to have erased certain crucial memories. The readers too, on their journey with Tony, get only limited knowledge of his past. Barnes’ story starts during Tony’s school days and continues till the time when he is past sixty. Employing the flash-back technique, Barnes’ story highlights how Tony recollects his past – his school days, his friends, his love relationship, his marriage – but his memory seems to fail him in recollecting important tit bits of his life which surprisingly he has forgotten. Given such a scenario, Barnes’ choice of first person narration lends authenticity to the story. This paper is an attempt to study the narrative device employed by Barnes and in doing so, highlight the uniqueness of his selection of the first-person narrative technique. It also explores the follies of memory vis-à-vis the question of credibility of the narrative voice in the novel.