Writing Techniques in The Inheritance

This Study Guide consists of approximately 13 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Inheritance.
This section contains 395 words
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Alcott set herself the task of conveying the characters and atmosphere of a novel about manners and morals. Accordingly, it is peopled with lords and ladies who reside in a "stately home, half castle and half mansion," and who speak in sentimental, somewhat stilted language. These idle rich also indulge in pastimes proper to their station, like an excursion on horseback or an elaborate birthday dance and boating party. They circulate against a backdrop of servants and "happy villagers" or troubled ones. But Alcott had yet to hone her skills. The novel lacks the realism and lively dialogue that mark her mature work. The Inheritance is rich in conventions, formulaic plot lines and largely one-dimensional characters.

Too often the reader finds out what the characters are like through authorial commentary rather than subtleties of dialogue and action, although exceptions exist. Edith is repeatedly seen through the comments or...

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This section contains 395 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Inheritance Short Guide
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The Inheritance from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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