Penelope Lively Writing Styles in The Purple Swamp Hen

This Study Guide consists of approximately 85 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Purple Swamp Hen.
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Point of View

All of the 15 short stories in this collection take on a different point of view. Author Penelope Lively displays her skill of taking on different points of view through the stories' span of all narrative techniques and perspectives.

The first two stories in the collection, “The Purple Swamp Hen” and “Abroad,” introduce first person narrators who reflect back from the present to describe past events. These stories also include present-tense commentary on these events and on humanity as a whole. Other stories, such as “The Weekend” and “Mrs. Bennet” are related from the perspective of an omniscient, third person narrator. “A Biography” stands apart as a story that is related through a series of interviews about the recently deceased Lavinia Talbot. In employing these different narrative perspectives, the author presents the universality of her themes, including isolation, disappointments in marriage, and the urge to procreate...

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This section contains 620 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Purple Swamp Hen Study Guide
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