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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Reader's Diary #69- Lisa Moore: Alligator (up to p. 240)


When I blogged about point of view the other night, I had no idea I was stumbling onto something I now feel is crucial to this book, or at least to the Colleen character.

Just after discovering that Colleen was the only character written in first person, I realized that it was inconsistent. Moore started off writing Colleen in the first-person but in later chapters switched to the third, back to the first and so on. As I said in my comments in my last Alligator posting, I'm familiar with authors using the first person for teenagers, especially in coming-of-age stories because of the inherit self-centredness it implies. What Moore has done by fluctuating Colleen's character, and only Colleen's character, is to better represent what coming-of-age actually means. If all of the other adult characters are written in the third, Moore seems to be suggesting that Colleen is teetering on the edge of adulthood as well. Of course, this suggests an assumption that adulthood is more of a mindset than an age, and with that a second more cynical assumption that the adult mindset comes from understanding the pitfalls and evil in the world and one's role in it- unlike the earlier version of Colleen who did see evil, but only in a simplistic, black-and-white sort of way.

I'm a little unsure of Moore's choice of the third-person for Frank. While he is only two years older than Colleen, one could argue that his poverty, his mother's death, etc forced him into adulthood earlier and hence, the third-person perspective (if my above theory is correct). However, Frank is still very naive in matters of love and does not seem to have a mature view of relationships at all. Plus, Colleen was not without childhood pain herself.

Anyone else want to weigh in on why Colleen's point of view changes, or why Frank's doesn't?

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