Alice Munro: a Painter of Words and an Artist of Literature
In her novel Lives of Girls and Women, author Alice Munro demonstrates her distinct ability as a writer through her development of the lives of her characters. In this novel, Munro creates her protagonist, Del Jordan, an inspired and eccentric young woman whose inquisitiveness, great desire for knowledge, search for sexual experience and profound mind help the reader to reach a greater understanding of Munro and her distinguished writing style. According to Eleanor Wachtel, author of Alice Munro: A Life in Writing, Munro "writes with intelligence, depth, and compassion, carrying her readers with her in her explorations of character, in search of some kind of understanding - no neat resolutions, just trying to figure things out in an elegant, moving way" (267). This says something to Munro's style as it is one that she remains faithful to in many of her novels, in a similar way Munro's novels create instances wherein, According to author of The Rest of The Story: Critical Essays on Alice Munro, Robert Thacker, the author is "circling back, retaking up, probing once more the "open secrets" of being, of having grown up, and of having lived in and having left, and having remembered and having returned to, and above all of having made texts out of Huron County, Ontario" (1-2). As a Female Canadian author, this is one style of a particular genre that distinguishes Munro as the literary genius that she is. This statement can also be specifically applied to Lives of Girls and Women; a coming of age story on the life of Del Jordan, a young girl who is making the transition into adolescence and eventually to adulthood during which she makes many discoveries about life as a woman during this time. Del Jordan's exploration encompasses her self reflective nature and her consistency in her ability to think abstractly and it is through this that the reader is able to attain a solid grasp on the nature of Munro's writing. By referencing particular elements of writing used by Munro, specifically diction, imagery, tone, genre, poise and perspective, the reader is able to identify them and ultimately make the distinction between Munro's work and the work of other authors.
Throughout Lives of Girls and Women Munro successfully pairs imagery with diction; her use of an elevated language ultimately ensures that her elaborate descriptions come to life. By doing so, Munro is also able to receive the effect that she seemingly strives for which is to envelop the reader in a feeling of sublimity through her delivery and discourse. Munro's consistent use of imagery becomes a vital part of the novel, and essentially, an expectation of the reader. One example of her elaborate descriptions occurs when Del Jordan describes her and Naomi's visit to Pork Child's peacock farm.
The hens were easily forgotten, the sullen colours of their...