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Very Old Bones Characters

William Kennedy
This Study Guide consists of approximately 14 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Very Old Bones.
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As narrator of the family saga fleshed out in Very Old Bones, Orson Purcell functions as both the focus of the narrative action and as the fictional recreator of the family history. Orson's relationships to his parents, particularly his father, his family (the Phelans), his wife, and his writing comprise about half the narrative and parallel similar relationships and behavior seen in other characters. As a particularly pertinent example, Orson's sexual drive and his premarital and later marital relations with the promiscuous Giselle result in two alcoholically driven nervous breakdowns and counterpoint the drunken, hallucinatory, sexually driven behavior of Malachi. That Orson is the grandnephew of Malachi and threatens the self-destruction through libido that grandmother Kathryn saw in her brother and feared in her own offspring points us directly to the central concerns of the novel.

Orson begins the "memoir" which is the novel after his second breakdown and...

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This section contains 834 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Very Old Bones Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Very Old Bones from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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