Writing Techniques in A Virtuous Woman

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Gibbons presents Ruby's and Jack's stories through alternating chapters of firstperson narration which explain their lives from the perspective of different times and from varying points of view. Her novel explores why events happen instead of focusing on plot development, as the narrators shift from explanations of their childhood and young adult years then their experiences as adults. Sometimes this seems like a continuous loop of thoughts that can be stopped and examined at any point. Most of Gibbons's books are reminiscent of oral histories, such as those collected by 1930s Works Progress Administration employees. This novel begins with the widower Jack describing Ruby's final days before her death from the perspective of four months later. Then the ailing Ruby joins the narrative, describing how she is preparing meals for Jack to eat after her demise.

Chapters shift from the dying Ruby remarking on her life with and without...

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This section contains 841 words
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Buy the A Virtuous Woman Study Guide
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