Bessie Head Writing Styles in A Question of Power

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Point of View

This novel uses a third-person limited perspective that is both focused on and sympathetic to Elizabeth. In general, the narrator and reader do not know more about the world than Elizabeth does. For example, when Tom mentions a recent U.S. invasion of Cambodia, Elizabeth admits that she had not heard of it—or, if she had, that she had not “grasped the implications” (132) of it. As she reflects, Elizabeth only “follow[s] the world news over BBC world service in a dazed fashion” (131). In fact, this “dazed fashion” is an apt description for the novel’s approach to world politics as a whole. While there are the hazy outlines of a standard, linear timeline of world history in the form of references to the 1910 installation of a dictatorship in South Africa and to the Nazi Holocaust, these references are allusive background material. This is...

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This section contains 837 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Question of Power Study Guide
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