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Literary Precedents for The Talented Mr. Ripley

This Study Guide consists of approximately 98 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Talented Mr. Ripley.
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Literary Precedents

The Talented Mr. Ripley is both like and unlike the text it alludes to—Henry James' The Ambassadors. The modernist impulse away from the unified self to the representation of "human subjectivity" illustrates a shift away from the omniscient narrator. In James, we find a narrator, who relays Strether's point of view, while calling its narration into question. In James' work, we glimpse the unconscious—what Strether is unable to consciously articulate and realize, but we are unable to process it all neatly, and flatly, as traditional omniscient narration allows.

Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley narrates Tom's story, while relaying Tom's point of view, but, like in James, narration allows us to piece together what is beneath the surface in addition to what is conscious thought. Like James, Highsmith explores what it means to be an American touring Europe, especially after the war had divided (and...

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This section contains 468 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Talented Mr. Ripley Study Guide
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The Talented Mr. Ripley from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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