Colson Whitehead Writing Styles in The Intuitionist: A Novel

Colson Whitehead
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Point of View

The novel is told from the third-person limited view, which is extremely effective for Whitehead’s objective: this perspective allows him to include social and philosophical commentary while maintaining a fast and character-centered plot. The majority of the novel is told from Lila Mae’s perspective, allowing the reader access to her perceptions and unique perspective. By immersing the reader in the experience of a black female elevator inspector, Whitehead forces the reader to see various examples of racism and sexism in daily life and on a structural level. However, by utilizing frequent monologues from Lila Mae’s perspective, Whitehead is also able to expand on the novel’s themes while simultaneously characterizing Lila Mae as introspective and perceptive.

The third-person limited perspective also allows Whitehead to maintain suspense by filtering the information that the reader receives. Much of the novel’s plot hinges on...

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This section contains 942 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Intuitionist: A Novel Study Guide
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