Wendell Berry Writing Styles in The Memory of Old Jack

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Point of View

The story is told from the third-person perspective in the present tense. Though the majority of the story follows Jack through his last day alive, it is necessary for it to be told by a third-person to allow for the narration of his burial. Naturally, whenever Jack is recalling some of his memories, the knowledge of the narrator is limited exclusively to what Jack knew.

The story is less consistent with its use of the present tense. Though events that occur during the day in the "present" of the story are always narrated in the present tense, Jack's memories occasionally slip between the use of the past and present tense. The effect of this is obvious: Jack himself has a difficult time distinguishing past from present. In his dream-like final day, he has a hard time keeping his memories separate from his current experience, nor does...

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This section contains 1,029 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Memory of Old Jack Study Guide
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