Literary Precedents for Possessing the Secret of Joy

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 Possessing the Secret of Joy.
This section contains 374 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Possessing the Secret of Joy Short Guide

The unusual narrative technique Walker uses in Possessing the Secret of Joy reveals a debt to Faulkner. In The Sound and the Fury (1929), three narrators tell the story in internal monologues with no authorial comment and with a jumbled time sequence. An interesting note is that both novels also contain a retarded narrator: Benji in Faulkner's novel and Benny in Walker's. But the novel of Faulkner's that most seems like a precedent to Walker's is As I Lay Dying (1930).

Faulkner's novel has a highly segmented narrative. His novel is distinctive in that some narratives are only a line or two long. The famous example is Vardaman's "My mother is a fish."

Some of Walker's narrators speak only a few lines as well. The narratives are not always in chronological order in either novel, and the narratives are not numbered, which further suggests that both novelists...

(read more)

This section contains 374 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Possessing the Secret of Joy Short Guide
Copyrights
Gale
Possessing the Secret of Joy from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook