Jonathan Lethem Writing Styles in As She Climbed Across the Table

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Point of View

The novel is written in the first person from Philip’s perspective. Philip is both the protagonist and the narrator. Additionally, the novel’s narration is written in the past tense. The narrative focus on Philip’s perspective causes his own personal concerns to color much of the novel’s themes and narrative. Philip’s main goal is to win back Alice’s affections. Thus, while Philip interprets, synthesizes, and responds to the scientific and metaphysical ideas articulated by the other characters, Philip’s main frame of reference is consistently his love for Alice. Philip’s perspective also parallels Alice’s obsession and love towards Lack, thereby comparing/contrasting obsessive love with obsessive curiosity.

Despite the fact that Philip is the only point-of-view character in the novel, the narrative’s thematic development often heavily relies on the juxtaposition between the perspectives, ideas, and theories of...

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This section contains 754 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the As She Climbed Across the Table Study Guide
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