Why are there so many * * * * * * *

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"The number of section breaks is vexed a question as the placement of them" (Dock 474).

I will leave this blog entry short, so that we can discuss why there are so many section breaks?

Is this because the author, Gilman, stops writing each time there is a section break?


Is there specific pieces of the text that are missing and the publishers simply linked the texts together?

I seem to think that the section breaks are used to emphasize how the narrator could only write at specific times in her life. This would include when John is gone and when the sister is out of the house. Why is the narrator afraid to write with her husband in the house? Is it the illness that causes this or is she too afraid of John?

Do we think that the section breaks are used to show how the narrator's sickness is becoming worse as we read?

Let me know your thoughts...

Click here for the web page devoted to Dock.

1 Comment

I think as Dock et al. pointed out that the section breaks are supposed to act as separate journal entries. I think that the gaps between entries help to create the mystery of the story. We don’t get the entire story and we don’t know what is going on during these breaks. I also think that the rows of separative astericks make the reader pause for a moment. It gives the reader a few seconds to reflect on what has happened so far and also to slow down the reader to increase both the level of suspense and horror. The thing that is truly amazing to me is that editors and publishers would think it is ok to change the number of breaks and were they were. Do they not realize that Gilman probably put them there for a reason and they weren’t just arbitrary?

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on April 17, 2009 2:55 PM.

History is like a germ that infects everything was the previous entry in this blog.

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