John Cheever Writing Styles in The Country Husband

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Complex Narrative Style

At the beginning of the story, the narrator describes with detachment the airplane's near-crash. The narrator communicates facts rather than capturing the intensity of human crisis. As the story unfolds, however, the narrator enters Francis's mind, telling the reader about his thoughts and feelings. The result is that the reader finishes the story with the sense that the airplane incident is not particularly engrossing, but the character's reaction to it is. The narrator begins as a passive observer but becomes a commentator who frequently interprets the changes that take place in Francis.

One of the first insights into Francis's psyche is revealed when he sees Anne. Francis is drawn to her innocence, purity, and youth, as the narrator relates:

All those endearing flaws, moles, birthmarks, and healed wounds were missing, and he experienced in his consciousness that moment when music breaks glass, and felt a pang...

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This section contains 581 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Country Husband Study Guide
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The Country Husband from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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