Writing Techniques in The Reef

This Study Guide consists of approximately 11 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Reef.
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The Reef may be classified as a psychological novel. The writer's focus is not so much on what happens as on the states of mind of her two leading characters, Anna Leath and George Darrow.

In the first part of the novel, the center of consciousness is Darrow's; in the fourth part, it is Anna's. In the second and third parts, the center of consciousness shifts between Darrow and Anna. Thus we frequently get Darrow's and Anna's thoughts on what is going on around them. Wharton's method invites a certain amount of tedium as she engages in expositions of mental processes that are never as neat or orderly as her careful analyses suggest.

In the case of Anna, there is also the added difficulty that her thoughts constantly shift, so she does not seem to know her own mind. Thus at one point Anna thinks of Darrow as...

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This section contains 632 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Reef Short Guide
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The Reef from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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