Joan Didion Writing Styles in Democracy

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Narrative/Point of View

"This is a very hard story to tell," the narrator declares at the end of Chapter 1. Immediately after this, Chapter 2 begins, "Call me the author," an echo of the famous opening line "Call me Ishmael" from Moby-Dick. This is immediately undermined by a playful pastiche, or imitation, on the intrusive voice of nineteenth-century British novelist Anthony Trollope. On the same page, there is a quotation from a Wallace Stevens poem: "A gold feathered bird/Sings in the palm, without human meaning,/Without human feeling, a foreign song." Didion is at pains to establish that the narrator of Democracy is not a fictional character, but the author herself. Although the rest of Chapter 2 is largely about problems she, as author, has supposedly encountered with the structure of her story, the reader is also asked to accept her as a character in her own book, playing an...

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This section contains 854 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Democracy Study Guide
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Democracy from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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