Alice Munro's Narrative Art by Isla Duncan

By Isla Duncan

One of the first severe works on Alice Munro's writing, this research of her brief fiction is proficient by way of the disciplines of narratology and literary linguistics.

Through an exam of Munro's narrative artwork, Isla Duncan demonstrates a wealthy realizing of the advanced, densely layered, frequently unsettling tales.

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Extra resources for Alice Munro's Narrative Art

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The reader can sense the narrator’s regret when she concedes that Maddy is aligning herself with “these people” from Jubilee, that she wants to feel part of the community. The regret stems from the realization that her younger sister is, unlike her, now “repudiating the monstrous snobbery” they had both been keen to cultivate when they were young and wished for “much bigger things than Jubilee” (p. 192). The narrator feels alienated from her hometown, from her sister, and from childhood memories they share.

131, italics added). Earlier, when Robert noticed the smear on his wife’s coat, he knew that “she must have got close” to the bodies (p. 118, italics added). The reprised allusions to proximity are surely not coincidental. Perhaps Munro intends the reader to reflect on how her two protagonists approach the unexpected, the uncanny: both have to get close to understand what is there, to find an explanation. ” Robert’s reaction is described in emotive terms, when the narrator reports that the assembly of strange shapes initially “amazed and bewildered” him, then he “felt disappointed, but also like laughing” (p.

The admission that she is “trained” into acquiescence to her husband’s commands and wishes constitutes for me evidence of a self-­image that needs bolstering. At the outset of the story, she betrays feelings of inferiority when she identifies with the middle-­aged women in the audience at literary events, “who absorb the contempt of the men on the platform as if they deserved it” (p. 31). The narrator portrays Hugo as a man who sees “the world [as] hostile to his writing” (p. 40) and who expects his wife to act as a bulwark between his work and all that deflects him from it, a duty for which she feels inadequate.

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