Louis-Ferdinand Céline Writing Styles in Journey to the End of the Night

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Point of View

By speaking in first person, as though telling the story from memory, the main character directly and vividly conveys his thoughts to the reader. Bardamu's narrative voice is full of black humor, cynicism, colorful exaggerations and fantastic embellishments. Bardamu's witty yet perceptive tone helps us to enjoy his otherwise pessimistic and misanthropic outlook.

Bardamu exaggerates for the sake of telling a good story and therefore is not factually reliable. Instead, he seems to be aiming at some deeper truth by his selective emphasis and hyperbole. This is easily seen in the chapter where all the hospitalized soldiers compete to make up heroic lies, the best of which are performed in the theatre, La Comedie Francaise.

Language and Meaning

Rich and unusual description, penetrating lyricism and harsh observations give Celine's prose both range and depth. Known for his coarse slang, Celine's language resembles colorful street talk. At...

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This section contains 948 words
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Buy the Journey to the End of the Night Study Guide
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