Writing Techniques in Recoil

James Thompson
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In Recoil, Thompson uses first-person narration by the protagonist, as he does in many of his novels. Although the majority of Thompson's first-person narrators reveal psychosis and often murderous mania through their thoughts, Pat Cosgrove is a "clean" subject, with unquestionable motives.

Thompson allows Cosgrove pursuit of the American Dream, forcing him to rely upon his wits to achieve it. Cosgrove is sure of his identity, causing little of the frenetic soul-searching often present in Thompson's narrators.

The plot allows Thompson to emphasize faults within the American systems of justice, both on the political and the punishment ends. Not the typical detective/crime novel hero, Cosgrove yet maintains the courage of his convictions, allowing Thompson to emphasize themes of redemption through the quirks of fate. These same quirks defeat and swallow other of Thompson's protagonists, as Thompson felt they had done to himself and his father. As is true...

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This section contains 197 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Recoil Study Guide
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