Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How to Talk to Your Mother (Notes)

In the short story How to Talk to Your Mother (Notes) Lorrie Moore uses a unique style of story teller that engages the reader in a different way. Slowly, she takes the reader back in time through each year of her life, pointing out important things that happened and exploring how her mother affected her and how they interacted.

I felt, as the story progressed, that I was slowly being pulled back in time with her. As I slowly went back in time with the narrator, I was thinking about my own life and how it compared to hers. I was drawn further and further into the story until I reached the beginning of her life. This reverse linear story telling made more interested in the story than if it had just been the story of her life from beginning to end.

The other interesting thing that Moore did was telling the story as commandments to the Reader. It is literally a how-to guide of her life. I thought this made the story interesting and got the plot across while imploring the reader to step in her shoes. She talks about abortion, the death, sex, and how all of this is related to the relationship she had with her mother. At the beginning she is trying to cope with this loss and a takes the reader through everything that she experienced.

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