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S. Writing Style & Techniques

This Study Guide consists of approximately 5 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of S..
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S. is a contemporary example of an eighteenth-century narrative tradition, a novel in the form of letters. Updike updates the epistolary form by introducing tape-recorded messages. He also limits and controls the narrative by having all the letters come from a single character. In this way Sarah's mind is the stage for all that happens in the novel. Her feelings and thoughts, however compromised and mistaken, are the comedy and drama of Updike's narrative.

Another of Updike's techniques is the frequent repetition of the Hindu vocabulary in vogue at the religious commune. Not only is Sarah given a new name, she also learns a whole new language for dealing with her thoughts and feelings. One source of the guru's power, of course, is his apparent ownership of a foreign and exotic language.

Updike clearly has fun by writing his novel in both English and Sanskrit. He even provides a...

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This section contains 210 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our S. Short Guide
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