Helen Prejean Writing Styles in Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States

Helen Prejean
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Perspective

The story is written in first person from the perspective of the author, Sister Helen Prejean. In an interesting derivation from the typical method of writing in past tense, the author uses present tense which gives the story a sense of immediacy that might otherwise have been lost. Some aspects of the story are presented in the order in which Sister Helen observes the events. For example, the murders of which Patrick Sonnier is accused happens well before the opening pages of the story and Sister Helen's involvement in Patrick's life, but she tells of the murders when she learns about it by reading the court records. However, many aspects of the story are presented greatly out of order. For example, she says that Patrick tells her that he would not be nearly as afraid of his impending execution if he could be certain that he would die...

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This section contains 749 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States Study Guide
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