The Year of Magical Thinking

Root of the “Magical Thinking” 11th Grade

The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion, highlights the trip a mind takes when the death of a loved one occurs. The author examines her life as a whole and evaluates the situation without directly addressing her grief and mental state. Joan Didion writes The Year of Magical Thinkingto mask the impending truth about her husband and place her upcoming depression into perspective by using information from different sources, recalling past memories, and implementing her philosophical knowledge.

The utilization of information from literature is the tool Didion uses to gain control of the situation at hand, even though control is inevitable. Didion mentions repeatedly, “Read, learn, work it up, go to literature. Information is control” (Didion 94). For the author, whenever a difficult-to-understand situation presents itself, Didion approaches literature for answers. She loads the memoir with technical terms and information about her husband’s or daughter’s situation, and excludes the emotion in order to mask the sadness within her character. Information is control since it happens to allow the author to extract her solutions to unanswered questions, as well as a distraction from the reality of the situation.

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