Elizabeth Gilbert Writing Styles in Stern Men

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Point of View

In Stern Men, author Elizabeth Gilbert consistently uses an anonymous and omniscient third-person narrator speaking in the past tense. The narrator obviously cares for protagonist Ruth Thomas, whom s/he follows closely and seems to relish Ruth's quirkiness.

Much of the story is driven by dialogue, which helps define the characters in their own words. Most of the character are hard-drinking, hard-working, and opinionated folk, who use profanity. Ruth's first word as an infant is No and as she grows into adulthood she says No to others who want to mold her fate. She has run-ins with several who wish to do so and a major fight with her father who infuriatingly refuses to give an opinion on anything she does. Their conflict grows throughout the novel. Ruth discusses explorers, shipwrecks, lighthouses, and other nautical subjects with elderly Senator Simon Addams. Time spent at the neighboring...

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This section contains 1,811 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stern Men Study Guide
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