Elizabeth McCracken Writing Styles in Bowlaway

Elizabeth McCracken
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Point of View

Bowlaway is told through the lens of a third-person omniscient narrator. The past tense is used to describe the characters’ lives in the course of history. Rather than centering around one character’s voice, the narrator enters the perspectives of a myriad of characters, even seemingly insignificant ones. The focus is thus not on particular people, but rather those who filter through a place and time period: Truitt’s Alley in twentieth century Salford, MA. The narrator proves reliable with unprejudiced insight into the characters’ minds and the relaying of undesirable or hidden thoughts.

The channeling of important characters thoughts—like Bertha, Dr. Sprague, Joe Wear, Jeptha, LuEtta, Margaret, Nahum, Roy, Arch, and Cracker—manifests at times as free-indirect discourse, in which the narrator collapses the narration into the adoption of the characters’ voices and phraseology within their minds. This is also achieved through the...

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This section contains 1,162 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bowlaway Study Guide
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