By Isla Duncan
One of the first severe works on Alice Munro's writing, this learn of her brief fiction is expert by way of the disciplines of narratology and literary linguistics.
Through an exam of Munro's narrative paintings, Isla Duncan demonstrates a wealthy knowing of the complicated, densely layered, frequently unsettling tales.
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Extra resources for Alice Munro's Narrative Art
This quarrel was to have serious consequences for the narrator’s marriage, for it was never resolved. That she realized its gravity is clear from her admission that “a woman who wanted that marriage to last would have” acted differently (p. 44). The confiding, self-critical quality of the narrator’s analysis is sustained as she concludes her retrospective account, recalling her obduracy with the candid admission, “What presumptuousness, what cowardice, what bad faith” (p. 47). The concluding scene in “Material” takes place in the house where the narrator now lives with her daughter Clea, her husband Gabriel, and his sons.
194). The narrator explains that deaths occur more often in the town’s long, hard winters and that “there comes time now in the summer to think about [them], and talk” (p. 194). The deictic “now” unambiguously anchors the narrative to the present, and it makes Helen “think” and “talk” about her mother’s death. A second ellipsis further accentuates the dearth in Helen’s understanding of her sister, and it also draws attention to how incompletely she has dealt with her guilt. ” She recalls the bargain she had made with Maddy, about dividing the burden of caring, a bargain the narrator had not kept when she married and moved far away.
An ellipsis placed after this short paragraph accentuates the inadvertence. The gap also marks a boundary between what Robert saw, and did not see, outside the Weebles’ house and what he imagines his wife witnessed inside. Robert’s reliability is undermined, first, because he is an incomer and does not fully know Gilmore, and second, because it is implied that his capacity for alert observation is lacking. Unlike her husband, Peg is depicted as watchful, someone who would be more attentive to detail, for she is variously described as self-contained, unobtrusive, earnest, and conscientious (p.