Writing Techniques in Gerald's Party

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Gerald's Party is reminiscent of one of Coover's early stories, "The Babysitter," in that characters' fantasies superimpose themselves upon what is happening, to the degree that the reader is never certain whether an event that is described is real or a projection of a character's fantasy. This technique is compounded in that, in "The Babysitter," multiple points of view are used, whereas here Coover limits us to the observations, memories, and projections of an unreliable narrator who has trouble keeping his mind on what he is doing at any moment.

In another sense, Gerald's Party parodies the traditional detective romance.

This is an effectively ironic method for this story; traditional detective fiction celebrates the power of the rational mind to discover orderly processes like cause and effect in the chaos of human experience. Coover's fiction, as we have seen, warns us that imposing these rigid paradigms on the...

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This section contains 162 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Gerald's Party Short Guide
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Gerald's Party from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.