Brooklyn

The Act of Literary Representation in 'Brooklyn' 12th Grade

The deliberate manipulation of textual form definitively reveals the significance of people’s experiences of landscape in shaping individual identity and the values of social groups. Colm Toibin’s novel Brooklyn, a unique blend of historical fiction and bildungsroman, utilizes characterization and narrative voice to emphasize the significance of changing landscapes for the migrant experience. Poetic voice and structure are vehicles in Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s lyric poem ‘Then and Now’ which emphasize the importance of an Aboriginal persona’s interactions with landscape in obscuring or shaping identity. Therefore a culmination of compositional choices concerning textual form emphasize the significance of people’s interactions with landscapes in shaping identity and social values.

The purposeful construction of texts reveals the foundational role of an individual’s interactions with real landscapes in shaping their identity. In Brooklyn, Toibin demonstrates the significant impact of shifting landscapes upon the protagonist’s identity through corresponding shifts in characterization. The novel opens in Enniscorthy with Eilis “sitting at the window” as she “noticed her sister”, the passive connotations associated with these verbs...

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