Genre Memoir Setting and Context New York and Los Angeles, December 2003 - December 2004 Narrator and Point of View Joan Didion, the author, writes from her own point of view. Tone and Mood Cool and restrained Protagonist and Antagonist Joan Didion Major Conflict The death of Joan's husband, John, and the serious illness of her daughter, Quintana are the major conflicts. Climax John's death, Quintana's hospitalizations Foreshadowing John's heart problems in the past Understatement Didion does not depict very dramatic shows of emotion, despite the heightened emotional states she is in after her husband's death. Allusions Quotes from a variety of sources, including classical literature and medical research Imagery Didion describes the California seaside vistas that surrounded the house she used to have there. Paradox Didion recognizes that her thinking after her husband's death is irrational, but she cannot help but continue thinking that way. Parallelism In many places, Didion begins short paragraphs with the same words or phrases, such as a person's name or "So..." Metonymy and Synecdoche John's shoes stand in for his person. Personification Didion's memories and thoughts seem to be "sideswiping her," as though they were driving a car.