Donald Barthelme Writing Styles in Robert Kennedy Saved from Drowning

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Point of View and Narration

The vignettes are presented by a dispassionate first or third-person narrator who only uses the pronoun "I" twice. The difficulty in describing the point of view is compounded by two features. First, there are times when the narrator has access to Kennedy's dreams and thoughts, access that only Kennedy or a third-person omniscient narrator would have. Moreover, the narrator's observations are usually neutral; they don't offer much commentary on the events and characters. Instead, these observations are most often declarative statements or descriptive phrases. In what should be the most dramatic scene of the story, how the narrator saves Kennedy from drowning, the sensory and emotional contents are muted in favor of a distanced, intellectual engagement with the scene. This muting is especially remarkable given that the scene is one of two where the narrator appears explicitly in the first person. Readers might normally...

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This section contains 854 words
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Robert Kennedy Saved from Drowning from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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