Self-Justifying Narrative in Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending


  • Nazila Heidarzadegan Department of English Language, Islamic Azad University, Khoy Branch, Khoy
  • Omercan Tum MA. Research Assistant, Department of English Language and Literature at Dogus University, Istanbul, Turkey.


Although the term ‘unreliable narrator’ has long existed, it was the modernist and post-modernist authors who added new dimensions to it. Julian Barnes, as a postmodernist author, was constantly involved in questioning the concepts of history and truth and formed a new mode of an unreliable narrator who has an ability to deceive the reader, consciously or unconsciously, by suggesting different alternatives of his past actions as a means of self-justification. Tracing the idea of self-preservation, this paper aims at following the main character of The Sense of an Ending (2011) to find how the narrator misleads the reader through the course of the story to self-justify his past actions as a new way of creating an unreliable narrator. The paper will focus on Freudian psychoanalytic interpretations of the main character’s narrative.

Author Biography

Nazila Heidarzadegan, Department of English Language, Islamic Azad University, Khoy Branch, Khoy

Nazila Heidarzadegan received her B.A from University of Tabriz in 2004, and M.A from Islamic Azad University, Tabriz Branch in 2007, and taught English literature courses there for four years. She was employed at Islamic Azad University, Khoy Branch in 2008, and still works there as a member of faculty. She started doctoral studies in American Theatre at Ataturk University, Erzurum, Turkey, in 2010, and graduated in 2015. Her research fields of interest are American theatre, modern American Modern modern British novel, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, Middle Eastern studies, gender studies, Orientalism, and mysticism and transcendentalism.


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How to Cite

Heidarzadegan, N., & Tum, O. (2019). Self-Justifying Narrative in Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending. Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, 7(13), 152–161. Retrieved from