Munro’s Style of Narration
Adolescence is a time of embarrassment, confusion, self-doubt, and physical maturity, which is exactly what the narrators of Alice Munro’s “Red Dress-1946” and “An Ounce of Cure” are going through. Both narrators in the stories are having difficulties expressing themselves: in “Red Dress-1946” she longs to be chosen by someone and in “An Ounce of Cure” she attempts to get over the one that has. Munro’s unique style of narration furthers our understanding of the narrators and their experiences through the use of tone and dialogue.
“Red Dress-1946” tells the story of an adolescent girl who faces the pressures and expectations of growing up and being a “normal” teen. We are limited to the first person perspective of an unnamed narrator. The narration of this story is very personal, like a diary, only the readers are aware of the narrator’s deepest fears and concerns which are kept secret from her best friend Lonnie even though they “had made a pact to tell each other everything”(Pg.134). The narrator has very little dialogue throughout the entire story, this hints at the reader’s that the narrator doesn’t have a strong voice. If we examine exactly what the narrator says, we notice that all of her phrases are extremely short or in questions form, for example “Thank You” (Pg.136), “It’s alright” (Pg.140), and “Where?”(Pg.140). This proves her insecurities towards herself, she seeks answers because she wants to be told how to think rather than input her own opinions. She believes that agreement is important, not who with and a prime example of this is when she “decided to just say “H’m hmm,” and that seemed to be all that was necessary” (Pg.143), when she was walking home from the dance with Raymond. Her insecurities lead her to do “questionnaires in magazines” (Pg.134) to find out whether she had “personality” and would be “popular”, thus proving that the narrator values the outside opinion more than her own. Embarrassment and...
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