The Writing Of Alice Munro Essay

1466 words - 6 pages

Alice Munro

Writing can often be considered a reflection. Sometimes authors resonate on certain experiences or aspects of their life, and express them through the art of writing. Alice Munro, a renowned short-story author, creatively displays this technique. It is important to first understand that Munro is a writer of fiction, yet her writing has chronologically progressed through situations and experiences in her own life. Being a Canadian native, Munro is often compared to great Southern writers such as Faulkner and OíConnor due to her ability to place her characters in confrontation with tradition. Because of her implicit style of writing, many readers can easily relate to the characters, settings, and plots of her stories. Through the use of complex characters, setting, ironic humor, and symbolism, Munro elegantly creates fictional short stories that easily survive in a non-fiction lifestyle.

Munroís characters are the backbone of her stories. One could assume that Munro first creates her characters, then delicately places the plot around them. In An Ounce of Cure, the main character recalls one of the most embarrassing moments of her adolescence, a crush she thought she would never get over, and how she has grown into a mature young woman in spite of it all. In an interview with renowned writer Graeme Gibson, Munro describes the feelings and expectations she encountered while growing up:

ìAs a child, I always felt separate, but pretty happy to be so. Then in high school,

Suddenly with puberty and everybody getting down to business - girls especially

Getting down to what their role would be - I began to feel terribly out of things and

in a way superficially unhappy about that because I wanted to be an ordinary girl.

I wanted to be very attractive to boys, and I wanted to go out, and I wanted to get

married, and get a diamond: those things, more or less as signs of being a fully OK

kind of womanî (Munro 1985).

Not only does Munro identify with the character in her story, but she also creates a character many of her female readers can relate to. Munro even created a generic mother in the story who thinks that signing a non-drinking pledge card in the seventh grade was ìÖ just nonsense and fanaticism,î and ìÖignoranceÖis not always such a fine thing as people thinkÖî (Munro 451).

As mentioned earlier, Munro is often compared to Faulkner and OíConnor because of her use of regional settings in her stories. Not only does rural Ontario hold the setting for most of Munroís short stories; it also embraces the title of her birthplace. Setting her stories to unfold in a quaint, quiet town allows her to create traditional boundaries and set rules to automatically be broken. Not only does this enhance the plot of her stories; it also helps fully develop her already multifaceted characters. This technique also enhances Munroís extraordinary style, as writer...

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