Paula McLain Writing Styles in Love and Ruin

Paula McLain
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Point of View

Love and Ruin is told primarily through first-person narration from Martha Gellhorn’s perspective. The first-person narration gives insight into Martha’s worldview, showing her interest in the world beyond what affects her locally. Martha is interested in how the world is changing and can see its harshness. Martha understands World War II as a war “of gluttony. Because a very few people – Hitler, Franco, Mussolini, Stalin – wanted to control everything they could, ordinary people were dying in droves, and they didn’t know why” (234). Martha is even impatient with Roosevelt’s reluctance to enter the war prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The novel shows how Martha evolves between the years 1936-1944. Martha is inexperienced, but driven, when she meets Ernest, and remains fearless as she continues to report on the war through its end. Martha wants to be able to bring humanity...

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This section contains 1,038 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Love and Ruin Study Guide
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