By I. Duncan
One of the first severe works on Alice Munro's writing, this examine of her brief fiction is knowledgeable via the disciplines of narratology and literary linguistics. via studying Munro's narrative paintings, Isla Duncan demonstrates a wealthy knowing of the advanced, densely layered, frequently unsettling tales.
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Extra info for Alice Munro’s Narrative Art
The narrator takes time to recapture the singular poignancy of this cry, trying to define the emotions that provoked it and to better understand her mother’s “state of mind” and her own. ” (p. 198). More than one Munro scholar has commented on the prison metaphors in the narrator’s memory of her mother’s illness. Another striking feature in the description is the abundance of discrepant juxtapositions. An adverb incongruously precedes an adjective, creating the impression of hypocrisy, and a lack of spontaneity in the sisters’ care, as, for example, when the narrator explains that they “had to supply five minutes’ expediently cheerful conversation” in a “remorselessly casual” way.
Fits” is concerned with the irruption of violence in intimate relationships, in outwardly ordinary lives, and it explores how the central characters react to the irruption. The principal act of violence is the murder-suicide of an elderly couple who lived next door to the protagonists, Robert and Peg Kuiper, in Gilmore, Ontario. It is Peg who discovers the bodies: Walter Weeble shot his wife Nora, then killed himself. Peg’s shocking discovery is not directly reported by the thirdperson narrator; the details are gleaned mostly from Robert’s imaginative reconstruction of Peg’s experience.
The account of Peg’s actions, as she carries out her errand, taking the eggs to the couple, is an intriguing blend of different discourses, exemplified as follows: She set the eggs on the clothes dryer, and was going to leave them there. Then she thought she had better take them up into the kitchen, in case the Weebles wanted eggs for breakfast and had run out. They wouldn’t think of looking in the utility room. (This, in fact, was Robert’s explanation to himself. She didn’t say all that, but he forgot she didn’t.