Write a critical appreciation of Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Lacuna”

Topics: Homosexuality, LGBT, World Pages: 3 (2168 words) Published: October 27, 2014

Write a critical appreciation of Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Lacuna”. Barbara Kingsolver’s extract demonstrates a key number of themes relating to the divide between the land and the sea, personifying the fish in the sea and dehumanising the people on land, pushing the boundaries between both worlds. The comparisons between the fish and the humans reflect society as a whole and the problems that plague us. The underlining theme that essentially becomes the most important in the given extract is that of delusion – the mistaken belief or impressions that further requires us to look beneath the surface. From the very beginning, the reader is introduced to the juxtaposing sea life beneath the ocean and that both worlds – human and fish – are essentially the same with deceptive undertones. At the same time, Kingsolver provides a melodic tone to the second complete paragraph to open us up to this whole new world. ‘The rule of fishes is the same as the rule of people’. By comparing and contrasting the two species, Kingsolver both humanises the fishes and dehumanises the people in her extract. The ‘rule’ refers to a way of life that ‘if the shark comes, they will all escape, and leave you to be eaten.’ The ‘shark’ symbolises the turning point in both species and makes the reader aware of the common trait that fails both humans and fishes: it’s every man, or fish, for themselves. By identifying this shared flaw, it completely juxtaposes the idea of togetherness that Kingsolver later tries to cement. ‘One great, bright, brittle altogetherness.’ The harsh-sounding alliteration causes the reader to interpret the words as if they are said out of spite. The repetition of the “b” sound emphasises the harshness of reality, symbolising a hidden deception behind the fishes being in ‘altogetherness’. This helps to end a paragraph that previously sounded melodic with beautiful imagery such as ‘heavenly’ and ‘shining’. The third-person narrative speaks to the reader directly to...
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