Julie Orringer Writing Styles in The Smoothest Way Is Full of Stones

Julie Orringer
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Point of View and Tense

The story is told in the first person by Rebecca. This angle means that all the characters are viewed through Rebecca's eyes and through her thoughts and feelings. There is no independent, objective narrator who could explain, for example, what Esty, or Aunt Malka is thinking. They are revealed only through their words and actions and how Rebecca perceives them. An example of how this focus works occurs when Rebecca asks Esty to explain why she is looking at the forbidden book. Esty “glances down and her eyes widen, as if she's surprised to find she's been holding the book all this time.” The reader is not told for certain that Esty is surprised; the qualifying phrase “as if” is necessary to maintain the established point of view, which is that of Rebecca. The point of view helps to put the emphasis on the...

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This section contains 509 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Smoothest Way Is Full of Stones Study Guide
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