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Understanding the Book of MormonA Reader's Guide$
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Grant Hardy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199731701

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731701.001.0001

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Sons and Brothers

Sons and Brothers

Characterization

Chapter:
(p.31) 2 Sons and Brothers
Source:
Understanding the Book of Mormon
Author(s):

Grant Hardy (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731701.003.0002

The first hundred pages of the Book of Mormon are presented as the writings of Nephi, who is also a character in the action. This chapter examines the ways in which he, as the narrator, shapes his tale of family conflict through selective characterization. The story begins in Jerusalem about 600 BC and then continues in the New World. In his telling, Nephi shifts chronology, flattens the characters of his rebellious brothers Laman and Lemuel, and suggests that his own experiences are parallel to those of the biblical Joseph. In addition, his own frustrations and tensions with his father Lehi are implicitly communicated through inconsistencies in the narrative and obvious omissions, that is, places where readers’ expectations are unmet or deflected.

Keywords:   Nephi, narrator, characterization, Laman, Lemuel, Lehi, Joseph, omissions

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