Writing Techniques in Sometimes a Great Notion

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Sometimes a Great Notion is a highly complex novel in its time scheme, point of view, and imagery. The panoramic narrative begins and ends on Thanksgiving Day of 1961; but between its starting point and its conclusion, it moves back and forth in time to depict the lives of three generations of Stamper males, with the earliest events occurring in 1898. As Tony Tanner explains in City of Words: American Fiction 1950-1970, Kesey dissolves chronological time "so that past and future events swim into each other . . ." In the first chapter of the novel, Kesey himself gives the reader advice about his treatment of time. He cautions, "Truth doesn't run on time like a commuter train, though time may run on truth.

And the Scenes Gone By and The Scenes to Come flow blending together in the sea-green deep while Now spreads in circles on the surface. So don't sweat it." Later...

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This section contains 628 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sometimes a Great Notion Study Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Sometimes a Great Notion from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.