Zoe Heller Writing Styles in What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal

Zoe Heller
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Point of View

The novel is told entirely from Barbara's point of view. It begins as a diary of sorts. Barbara wants to tell the true story about Sheba Hart, the forty-two-year-old pottery teacher who had an affair with her then fifteen-year-old student. Barbara's narrative is suspect in that she did not witness most of the events she writes about. Barbara is also biased in her dislike of most of the characters. While she claims to want to tell the story in an objective manner, her tone suggests gossip. Her cutting descriptions of the principle characters make her seem less sympathetic.

Every description of the characters and circumstances comes from Barbara. There is nothing objective in the entire novel. Barbara shares her opinions, her beliefs and her characterizations in a condescending manner that suggests she is simply an intelligent observer. The interesting thing about Barbara's portrayal of the circumstances...

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This section contains 1,141 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal Study Guide
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