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An Analysis Of The Literary Mechanisms In Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behaviour

2238 words - 9 pages

Knowledge is an accumulation of experiences, which are obtained either conventionally in a school setting or indiscriminately through life-experiences. Likewise, from these experiences conventional or otherwise, information is then transferred, acquired, and reappropriated. However, within this sequence of events knowledge is at risk of misinterpretation. In those circumstances it is the story, the most ancient form of communication, which is capable of making the unfamiliar appear obvious. Through her novel Flight Behaviour, Barbara Kingsolver acts as a teacher, surreptitiously conveying her own opinions on education and the process of learning through the development of her characters. Subsequently, Kingsolver provides a valuable outlook regarding the elements required to engage intellectually, which offers creditable insight regarding the process of learning. Not merely an anecdotal novel, her narrative conveys a fundamental educational paradigm. Indeed, engaging intellectually requires both aptitude and enthusiasm, but Kingsolver proposes that education is far more complex than a simple binary. Kingsolver suggests that intellectual engagement is both a process and a maturation of one's ability to reason, which is fundamentally rooted in logic and fueled by passion.
Narratives offer a framework, which support unfamiliar concepts; this distinctive function of literature places writers in a unique position, particularly so if their readership is inconversant with the topic at hand. However, to appreciate this position it is important for the purpose of this discussion to understand the literary mechanisms Kingsolver presents in order to convey her own opinions. In particularly, one must recognize her method of integration, a process whereby she causes her audience to engage in a process of learning along with her protagonist Dellarobia. Her purpose for incorporating her audience into the learning process is a communication tactic allowing her to convey her respective themes.
Kingsolver's literary mechanism has history within the realm of politically charged writing. As a means to establish an understanding of this type of mechanism, a brief comparison between celebrated author Anthony Burgess's use of "nadsat" language in A Clockwork Orange and Kingsolver's use of scientific language will be made. Although the concept of integrating an audience into a narrative is an interesting literary tool, it is not unique to Kingsolver. Despite the two novels being dissimilar in virtually all other ways, Burgess like Kingsolver integrates a political message into his narrative through a learning process. Both authors achieve the same result by employing language as a literary tool with the intention to integrate their individual audiences into their independent works. Using the same literary tool, but rather with scientific language, Kingsolver likewise interweaves her audience into Flight Behaviour. Together with Dellarobia, Kingsolver's audience learns a...

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