American Novelist: Annie Proulx

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  • Topic: Newfoundland, The Shipping News, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Pages : 3 (900 words )
  • Download(s) : 187
  • Published : March 19, 2013
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Accepting ones past is always a hard thing to do, but by facing ones fears and learning to acknowledge and understand ones past, it becomes easier to move forward. Written in third person omniscient point of view, Annie Proulx’s novel, The Shipping News, exerts a dark yet comical tone. Proulx’s style of writing evokes a strong sense of setting and through setting the theme of the novel is developed. Ironic situations and comical details about the setting allow Proulx to emphasize her theme of how everyone should accept their pasts. First meetings are said to be the most important because it is your first impression which rails a person in, and determines if they will like you or not. Quoyle first comes to Newfoundland to escape from his emotionally traumatic life, and to live in his ancestor’s house. The switch from the city to Newfoundland is quite ironic because Quoyle a man who is afraid of water moves to an island which is completely isolated and surrounded by water. Disregarding the isolation of the island the Quoyle’s focus on the family house, this is one impression that was long lasting and very displeasing. Described as a “gaunt building…paint flaked from wood…holes in the roof,” (Proulx, 42) the house symbolizes the weaknesses, and ultimately the breakdown of the old Quoyle dynasty. Taking in the sight of the home their ancestors had created, the Quoyle’s were surprised the house was still standing after a hundred years, yet upset at the visual appearance of the home, which had its entire base shackled to a rock. As the novel progresses, the house slowly becomes a foil for Quoyle. It first appears to be a dull and lifeless house, something which can not be identified clearly because it is so bent out of shape and “gaunt,” but as the Quoyle’s start to settle into the home, it starts to change; along with Quoyle. Escaping his old life and starting a new one, when Quoyle arrives to Newfoundland Island he is not aware of his ancestors who were dumb,...
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