Writing Techniques in Lie Down in Darkness

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Like all of Styron's novels, Lie Down in Darkness has an intricate, dramatically justified narrative structure. Although the point of view is omniscient (except for a second-person opening), Styron cleverly limits it by entering, with smooth, natural transitions, the minds of his principle characters, including those who play a significant role in the life of the Loftis family.

Styron's skill allows him to engage the reader quite intimately without forcing the author to identify with any of his characters.

Quite original also is Styron's treatment of time. Objectively, the novel's action covers the events of just one day — the day of Peyton's funeral, from the time her remains arrive by train until, after some unexpected misadventures, she is buried. In a sense, then, the novel begins at the end and moves forward through many flashbacks. The funeral provides only a compositional frame while the plot deals with the...

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This section contains 189 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lie Down in Darkness Study Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Lie Down in Darkness from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.