Identity and Structure in ‘The Woman Who Walked into Doors’ by Roddy Doyle

Identity and Structure in ‘The Woman Who Walked into Doors’ by Roddy Doyle

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‘The Woman Who Walked into Doors’ is written by Roddy Doyle over a thirty nine year timescale. Doyle has created a convincing female Narrator Paula. She is married with three children, and an Irish Catholic. In 1960s most people were believed in Roman Catholic. Paula named her son as John Paul, who was the new pope in 1979 and Paula says ‘I can’t ask the priest, the one that calls around every couple a months, drinking tea and eating cake with the deserted wives of the parish’. This shows how religious they were in 1970s. She got three sisters and three brothers. She was in social class family.

As the result of using first person narrator Doyle structured the story in non chronological order. Paula’s faded memory taking the story sideways and in every chapter changing the subject. Her feelings have changed as well as her situations. She shuffles her good moments and the bad moments making the reader guess what the end is going to be. Doyle engages the reader by connecting her feelings and the events. For example in chapter one she talks with the guard and stops it, then continues in chapter five. This makes the reader to keep guessing what is going to happen.

Roddy Doyle writes the story from a first person point of view and gives the narrator an informal manner of speech as Paula is not trying to be a professional story teller at any point of the story. She uses words independently and tells what comes into her mind. Doyle uses different words to describe different situations. This gave the narrator different sorts of emotions each situation. In chapter one she says ‘‘we had this screeching bell like an alarm that shook the walls when anyone rang it. It lifted me off the floor, the kids started bawling; it was fuckin dreadf...


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... religion. When he trying to hurt Nicola. She banged Charlo with a frying pan and kicked him out of the house. The reader never thought Paula was going to kick him out of the house. In chapter twenty-nine Paula says ‘it was a great feelings for a while. I’d done something good’, again in the end of chapter thirty one she said ‘it was great feelings I’d done something good. Doyle is trying to emphasize the point, she did something good. Doyle made a happy ending, even though she struggles for identity through out her life.

In the whole book Doyle clearly shows her struggle for identity by Paula’s informal way of story telling and her diminished memory. Doyle gives multiple characters and gives various emotions according to the situation. His informal way of non chronological structure and precise use of language emphasize her struggle for identity to the reader.

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