Carol Shields Writing Styles in Unless

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Unless is written in the first person, and this perspective heightens the sense of alienation and psychological isolation of the main character. The story of Norah's disappearance and the resultant bewilderment, confusion and grief of her family is told entirely through the perspective of her mother, Reta. The reader is brought along on this journey from grief to resolution through a process very similar to a stream-of-consciousness narrative. The novel is composed of a series of disconnected events which are often only tenuously connected. The last five chapters have more of a linear narrative style and are rooted in the actual train of events, rather than in Reta's thoughts about those events. In many parts of the book, however, the reader is forced to interpret the events of the novel through the narrow lens of Reta's inner dialogue. Frequently, her thoughts do not relate in an...

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This section contains 500 words
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Buy the Unless Study Guide
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