Often, the individuality – and unreliability – of a narrative comes down to just that; nuances in internalization and judgment of an event based on a person’s conception of reality as they perceive it. Any number of circumstances – youth and mental illness, as examples – can compromise a person’s ability to give a scrupulous account of events that aligns with external reality. In his essay “Types of Narration,” Booth writes that, “In fiction, as soon as we encounter an “I,” we are conscious of an experiencing mind whose views of the experience will come between us and the event” (Booth, 152). Through a sense of relatability, they point to the ways in which we justify our actions or recalibrate cognitive dissonance, to the way we fill or supplement gaps in our memories. But sometimes, narrative inconsistencies or falsehoods stem from something far more menacing than person...
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...ll love scribbling that word— WRITER.” Whatever identity Amy perceives of herself outside of her alter-ego’s is by means of her writing. Throughout the book, she is constantly “set[ting] the scene” for the reader, revealing her need to chronicle her life in story form. Amy consistently references Gothic and Victorian tropes, further demonstrating her compulsion to define her life against other narrative models. “Of course she wants to stage-manage this. She wants the image of me and the wild running river, my hair ruffling in the breeze as I look out onto the horizon and ponder our life together.” Amy’s husband recognizes that she needs him to perform within an uninspired scene, as if he were just a secondary character in her book with a limited narrative function. She employs stockpile clichés to fulfill certain expectations of what her story is meant to look like.
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