Writing Techniques in Prisoner's Dilemma

Richard Powers
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As in his other novels, Powers uses historical interchapters throughout Prisoner's Dilemma. In this novel, however, he focuses on family more prominently than he has in his other novels. Juxtaposed against family is an outside world, its detachment intensified by its contrast to the closeness—one might justifiably call it the insularity—of the Hobson family.

Within the family, Powers's narrative technique suggests, exists a warmth and cohesiveness that are at the heart of what makes civilizations possible. Outside that center, forces corrode all that family represents, constantly threatening it and, by extension, threatening civilization as a whole.

In Prisoner's Dilemma, Powers is particularly successful in dealing with the question of worlds within worlds. Bud Middleton, part of the model family at the New York World's Fair, dangles on a stalled parachute drop above the twelve hundred acres of Flushing Meadows that the Fair occupied. Below...

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This section contains 193 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Prisoner's Dilemma Short Guide
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Gale
Prisoner's Dilemma from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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