The Palace Of Illusions Analysis

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The Palace of Illusions by Kim Addonizio explores the expanding paradoxes and conflicts innate in human experience through a series of short stories. Each story illustrating different characters; from ignorant parents to concepts of love or the maddening struggle of alienation and self-hatred, the characters in The Palace of Illusions all must contend with these challenges. As they tread the burdened line between the real and the imaginary, often in a world not of their making, they handle their strange misgivings as humanely or inhumanely as possible. Addonizio draws on many literary devices to bring to life a variety of settings, all connected through the suggestion that things in the known world are not what they seem through the use of…show more content…
It’s a critical asset she uses to add a tinge of humanity to characters of all sorts; be they mythical or simply unlikeable. An example of this can e seen in the story “Night Owls” which the main character is described as reading “Charlotte Bronte or Jane Austen in the muted bar with (her) hair piled demurely on (her) head little ringlets escaping down (her) neck.” She’s described with words such as demure with little ringlets to being dominant and ordering. The choice of words to describe the protagonist before when she attempts to reel a guy in are sweet and her image is enhanced in contrast to the following sentence when she orders the gentleman she with to “take his clothes off.” Addonizio continues the use of voice to shape and weld these characters into the situations they find themselves in, which oftentimes borders onto the unreal. As imagination and reality collide she uses diction in her favor to create a blend of the two through interplayed uses of concrete and abstract images. As she does in “The Hag’s Journey” where she describes a scene in which the prince is eating his breakfast as “made now mostly from leftover frowns and sullen glances” which lends an otherworldly sense to the story. She employs just enough to leave the characters (and reader) dangling on the fine line waiting for the next sentence to dictate their fate. Should we fall into reality or out of it? Even the structure of her book exemplifies the fade in and out of reality as she begins with stories more tangent with the real world and slowly dissolves into illusion in the middle of the book as we read The Palace of Illusions and fades back out to reality towards the end with stories such as Cancer Poems and
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