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Archives > Q4. Narrative Style

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message 1: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 1985 comments Mod
What is the effect of this reverse chronological narrative process? At what points do you struggle most with the narrative style? What does the reverse narrative style seem to suggest about the main character's perceptions or experiences?


message 2: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 1985 comments Mod
I really struggled with the sections set in Germany specifically at Auschwitz to me it felt like the holocaust was being treated lightly and I wasn't comfortable with that.

Reading backwards meant we already knew that Tod escaped prosecution and went on to live a "normal" life in America. We also know that what he did haunts him as he suffers with nightmares and struggles with impotence.

The soul has no memory of the past and because of this cannot interpret things correctly like the nightmares and the name changes. This changes as we get nearer to "Tod's" birth when the soul has the memory of everything to come in the future while Tod knows nothing.


message 3: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4107 comments Mod
The reverse chronological narrative is mind boggling.

I kept trying to figure out what the main character was doing, he certainly wanted to erase the past, he wanted a new life where he could forget but the past is what we remember the most. We can't escape it.


message 4: by John (new)

John Seymour Book wrote: "I really struggled with the sections set in Germany specifically at Auschwitz to me it felt like the holocaust was being treated lightly and I wasn't comfortable with that."

Exactly. I felt Amis should have made a different choice here. The idea that the dobbleganger experienced the relationship with Jews as a loving one was obscene. This effort to take a look at the Holocaust from another perspective ended up feeling to me like treating it lightly (Look, if you look at the holocaust backwards, the German nation resurrected the Jews at Auschwitz and sent them home) and that offended me.


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