Kristen Arnett Writing Styles in Mostly Dead Things

Kristen Arnett
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Point of View

The author writes Mostly Dead Things from the first person point of view of Jessa Morton. By granting Jessa sole narrative authority, the author is able to explore the complications of both Jessa's physical and psychological lives. The first person narrative lives directly behind Jessa's consciousness, establishing an immediate intimacy between the narrator and the reader. While Jessa's family, friends, and acquaintances hold integral roles in the novel, the reader is aligned most closely with Jessa's struggles, grief, opinions, and versions of intimacy. Despite this psychic access, the reader only gradually learns to trust and understand Jessa.

Because Jessa does not fully comprehend, and is not entirely willing to acknowledge her grief regarding Brynn's abandonment and her father's suicide, neither does the reader. As Jessa embarks on a prolonged process of healing and growth, so, then, does the reader. Because Jessa narrates with such vivid...

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This section contains 943 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mostly Dead Things Study Guide
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