The Dead of the House Essay

Hannah Green
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Tabitha Mclntosh-Byrd is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. In the following essay she analyzes the roles of language, narration, and self-creation in the formation of American identity in The Dead of the House.

The Dead of the House is a complex narrative: its story is assembled rather than told, its crisis points are implied rather than stated, and it offers very little access to simple interpretation Early reviewers praised this dense insularity¬óreading it as a deliberate rejection of the social commentary and ideologically charged literary experimentation of the early 1970s. However, the very act of assemblage that the text enacts reveals the internal fault lines that deliberately shoot through the whole. The densely layered narrative is woven from grandfather's, father's, and uncle's voices, and is blended with extracts from histories, biographies, and autobiographies of the family's men.

From this linguistic melange of masculinity...

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This section contains 1,858 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Dead of the House Study Guide
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The Dead of the House from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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