What really happens in the novel
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Because of the it's written, Nervous Conditions can be seen as idealistic rather than realistic. The novel's narrator both interprets and filters the events as she sees them; therefore the way the information is presented opinionated and biased.
That's not to say Tambu is totally unreliable as a narrator, her observations are her own.......... she's testifying to her OWN experience. Therefore, what we see is a sense of realism over shadowed by idealism.