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Marilynne Robinson Writing Styles in Gilead

This Study Guide consists of approximately 112 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Gilead.
This section contains 2,948 words
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Style

The Novel as Journal or Letter

As it is used in literary criticism, the word, genre, according to A Handbook to Literature designates “the distinct types or categories into which literary works are grouped according to FORM or technique or, sometimes, subject matter.” But the distinctions between genres may not always be absolute, since a given work can draw from various types or categories of writing to achieve the desired effect. Gilead is a work of fiction, a novel, yet it clearly has features of other kinds or types of writing. The novel reads as though it is a collection of private letters or one long private letter to one person, written piecemeal over time, a text intended for only one reader, the writer's son. This feature makes the work sound like a private document, one never intended to be published and read by a wide audience. The sense...

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This section contains 2,948 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Gilead Study Guide
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Gilead from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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