Contemporary American Lit Essay

Contemporary American Lit Essay

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Andre Dubus, Raymond Carver and Shirley Jackson have changed the landscape of contemporary fiction both culturally and stylistically. All three comment about the affect upon the individual whose life circumstances have caused them to act the way that they do. When reading their short stories you can't help but notice that Dubus and Carver have very similar styles. Their use of the first person narrative allows them to step back from the story and have less of an interpretive influence. Their lack of total control leaves the reader to use her own logic and rational, while dealing only with perceptions. The first person narrator does not presume to have insight into each characters feelings and emotions. The minimalist details that emanate from this narrative place an importance on our individual perception. This style throws the reader directly into the middle of a scene without any background information or direction. Without a narrative presence telling the reader what to think about a situation and with only fragments of details, we have to rely on what the narrator may or may not know. The reader is immediately put on guard to question the situation. While not all the stories are in first person, a majority of them are.
None of these authors appear to be intellectual writers. Dubus' characters are rarely able to escape into abstraction: they exist, at times irritatingly, in the here and now, they drink, commit adultery and break, often beyond repair. Like Carver, his sto...

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