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Dolen Perkins-Valdez Writing Styles in Balm

Dolen Perkins-Valdez
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Point of View

The various perspectives in the novel are necessary to communicate the message of varied life experience. The narrator is third person omniscient and favors Sadie, Madge, Hemp, and Michael. Their perspectives are adopted by the narrator with fluidity and change frequently. When Michael takes Hemp to see Peter, the narrator shares Michael’s feelings about Hemp’s former name, Horse. Immediately after he considers the implications of this, the narrator illuminates Hemp is feeling shameful of the associations others made with his body. The narrator provides the differing thoughts of two characters to draw attention to their varying reactions and emotional states in response to the same event. In general, the third person omniscient narrator allows the reader to see the inner worlds of the characters, their pasts, and what motivates them to sympathize with one another.

Perkins-Valdez utilizes free indirect discourse so the narrator...

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This section contains 1,708 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Balm Study Guide
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