Literary Precedents for Dolores Claiborne

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The plot of Dolores Claiborne itself is rather ordinary; Joe's murder is typical of mainstream fiction regarding marital violence, murder and justifiable homicide. And Vera's death by tumbling down the stairs is not uncommon. But the additional plot element of having the maid agree to finish her off with a rolling pin — and getting caught before she can do — is unusual. However, intertwining domestic violence, a household accident and attempted euthanasia is certainly unique.

King's narrative technique eliminates the "Dear Reader" authorial voice or an omniscient third-person narrator: the voice of the storyteller is primary — it is the story. Critic Roland Barthes describes "speakerly texts" and "writerly texts;" speakerly texts, like oral narratives, are based on the voice and persona of the story-teller. Speakerly texts also have an unusual relationship to the audience, in that the reader must complete the text by filling in the blanks; hence...

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This section contains 400 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Dolores Claiborne Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Dolores Claiborne from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.