Yonnondio: From the Thirties

Importance of the Didactic Interludes

The four didactic interludes present in Tillie Olsen's Yonnondio: From the Thirties are vitally important in relation to the rest of the text. These narrative intrusions, as Constance Coiner prefers to call them, not only change but also deepen our understanding of the story. Through the use of these didactic interludes, Olsen is explaining to the reader in her own very special way, the causes and the remedies for the Holbrooks' dire situation. Thus, these interludes add to the plot of the story and are essential to grasp its impact.

Olsen uses her art as propaganda. She is not merely portraying one family's tale of hardship, living in the 1920's, instead, Olsen is taking this one step further. She is using her writing to convey her political ideology. Moreover, Olsen, in her writing, does not simply rely on the plot of Yonnondio to get her point across to her audience that revolution is the panacea the Holbrooks' have been searching for. Instead, Olsen expects more intelligence of her readers, and incorporates these four didactic passages for explanation's sake, thereby not only illuminating the need for rebellion, but also making its immediacy obvious, albeit blatant. Perhaps Olsen opted to include...

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