Jewett's art of perspective informs her pictorial style with a deeply refined sense of texture. The reader is made to feel the narrator's final judgments in the closing chapter of “The Backward View,” which states an end of the narrator's return to Dunnet Landing. The concluding scene is a moment of farewell between the narrator and Dunnet Landing as she stands at the crossing of two paths—the village life and the city to which she must return. The narrator sits upon a hill and oversees her surroundings, closely observing Mrs. Todd whose distant figure “looked mateless and appealing” (129). Mrs. Todd's attitude of sorrow and isolation reveals deeper insights into her character. Though Mrs. Todd earlier “...
... middle of paper ...
...n Mrs. Todd came back and found her lodger gone. So we die before our own eyes; so we see some chapters of our lives come to their natural end” (129). The closed and quiet summer of village life has come to a swift end. The narrator departs as the tide sets in, leaving Dunnet Landing in its air of isolated stillness.
The narrator's precise observations allow the reader to find insight in small moments of village life. Jewett presents a world seemingly unchanged with a mixture of remoteness and a “childish certainty of being the center of civilization” (1). The narrator's nostalgic recount of village life has about it the mood of a dream, a life remembered and not put down until long afterwards. Jewett's pictorial conventions create a feeling of impermanence akin to nostalgia assembled into long, gracefully rambled sentences authenticating her own regional style.
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