The narrative transaction process includes several participants, and one of them is the narrator. This participant is a narrative agent and conveys events from a particular perspective. The narrators’ role in events, their involvement, and the narrative level are essential elements for understanding the story. Depending on the degree of perceptibility of the narrators, covert and overt ones are distinguished.
In the case of covertness, the narrator is less present in the text, and in the case of overtness, the narrator can show their personality and express their own opinion. Perceptibility is determined by how the narrator describes the setting and characters, identifies the timing of events, reports something the characters do or do not know, and states additional commentary.
The narrator in Eliot’s novel Silas Marner is prone to overtness. The narrator has a distinctive voice, expresses opinions about the setting and the characters, often uses ‘I’ or ‘we,’ and makes various comments. For example, the judgment of peasants is presented: “To the peasants of old times, the world outside their own direct experience was a region of vagueness and mystery.” Similar narrator’s comments are often digressions from the main narrative in Silas Marner.