Writing Techniques in Waiting to Exhale

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Waiting to Exhale is structured as a series of alternating chapters, almost all written from the point of view of one of the four main characters. The chapters about Savannah and Robin are narrated by them, while those about Bernadine and Gloria consist of very introspective, third-person narration.

The device is McMillan's clever way of sustaining the reader's interest, and of rounding out characters by providing several perspectives on each one's personality. Savannah and Robin particularly, who tell in narration only what they wish known about themselves, are revealed further through comments by Bernadine and Gloria.

Occasionally a man provides a revealing remark. "James said she was brave," for example, appears in a chapter about Bernadine. Savannah records a remark made to her by Charles Turner: "You're attractive — beautiful, really — sexy, and obviously smart."

Because McMillan is careful to maintain a woman's point of view about relationships...

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This section contains 601 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Waiting to Exhale Study Guide
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