Amy Hempel Writing Styles in In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried

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Narrative Voice

"In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried" is told in the first-person point of view by an unidentified female narrator. At times the voice telling this story seems to move into a narrative technique known as stream-of consciousness—the literary attempt to reproduce the pattern of a mind in unchecked thought, simultaneously moving in multiple levels of awareness, issuing an uninterrupted flow of sensations, thoughts, memories, associations, and reflections. This is shown in part by her questions to herself, like "Two months, and how long is the drive."

Setting

Symbolic in the story's Southern California setting is the idea that the narrator's situation is merely a play or a television show in which she is acting. The hospital, which is near Hollywood, is likened to the one on the television series "Marcus Welby, MD," and a camera guards the sick woman's room. Conscious that she is...

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This section contains 530 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried Study Guide
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In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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