Alice McDermott Writing Styles in Charming Billy

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Point of View

The point of view of the novel is first person narrative. The novel is told in such a way, however, that most of the chapters appear to be written in the third person because the narrator is rarely a part of the events she is describing. It is as if the reader is listening to a friend tell a story rather than reading a novel about a group of interconnected characters.

By telling the story this way, the writer gives the reader more intimacy into the events of a past the narrator could only know through stories told to her by her father and other members of her family. The novel tends to drift back and forth between present time and several different points in the past. It would be impossible for the narrator to relate these stories, for example stories of her father's life before...

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This section contains 1,170 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Charming Billy Study Guide
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