Writing Techniques in The Magnificent Ambersons

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The primary technique used by Tarkington in The Magnificent Ambersons is a literary realism in which the closely observed details of the surfaces of events, manners, and families (even if some of his rendered observations are superficial) reveal the forces at work changing society from within. This technique is used extensively in Chapter 1 when the omniscient narrator quickly sets the social habits and fashions of the period just after Major Amberson has made his great fortune. Not only does this ease the reader into the milieu of the 1870s Midwest, but it creates a tone of quiet but pervasive nostalgia for quieter times forever lost which remains throughout. This realism and the tone of nostalgia combine in later sections of the book to show how the "horseless carriage" rapidly moves from an expensive entertainment for the rich to a supremely potent engine of social and economic transformation...

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This section contains 272 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Magnificent Ambersons Short Guide
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The Magnificent Ambersons from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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