Alex Haley Writing Styles in Roots

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Narration

Roots is narrated by a third-person narrator. The device of a third-person narrator enables the text to change settings when the characters do. For example, when Kizzy is sold away from the Waller plantation, the narrative moves with her, recording her actions and thoughts on the Lea plantation. In this way the narrative moves from generation to generation, from Kunta Kinte to Bertha Palmer Haley.

At the very end of the book, the narration switches from the third person to the first person with the arrival of Alex Haley, the book's author. Haley records his own thoughts and actions in his own voice.

Realism

Haley called his book "faction," a mix of fact and fiction. Although Haley creates the thoughts and dialogue of his characters, Roots is meant to be a realistic account of Mandinka culture and slave life in the American colonies and the United States. Haley...

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This section contains 356 words
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Novels for Students
Roots from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.