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Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler - Book Report/Review Example

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The title of Anne Tyler's 'Saint Maybe' posed a question about its hero Ian Bedloe. Portraying his life from care-free teenaged boy to young man abandoning his education, to carry the burdens of guilt and a family of three non-blood related children, the question raised is whether his actions were those of a saint, or a man just doing the best for his family…
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Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler
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Download file to see previous pages The meaning of the book seemed to center on how ordinary people find ways to deal with extraordinary life changing events. This is stated in the closing lines, where Ian imagined Lucy spoke to him:
This essay will examine how the writer's style complimented the themes and characters and how they, in turn, drove the plot forward to deliver the message; people grow, families change, but the bonds of common humanity endure, no matter what.
When Ian's narrative began on page 6, it foreshadowed that all was not quite as nice as it seemed, even though the Bedloe family "believed that every part of their lives was absolutely wonderful". Changes were coming, and with Danny's marriage to Lucy and Ian's destruction of that family, the conflicts between guilt and responsibility, self and others started. The part where Ian 'exposed' Lucy had an almost staccato delivery, like bullets firing or stab wounds inflicted, suggesting hurt and pain.
The narrative voice of seven year old Agatha bore that out during the following sequence, that seemed at first a digression from the plot, but in fact highlighted the theme of guilt and family change. The poignant sadness of her thoughts "Hansel and Gretel were wandering through the woods, alone and lost"
(Tyler 87), and the death of Lucy soon after, highlighted Ian's role in their tragedy. His dreams were expressions of his guilt, as was his failed attempt to escape via college, and these were catalysts that bought him to the Church of the Second Chance.
That was foreshadowed by the words: "Can't we just go back and start over Can't I have just one more chance" The 'family' of the brothers and sisters at the church helped with that second chance, and Ian took up the burden of three children, as well as helping his aging parents, losing Cicely, his girlfriend, along the way. Bee and Doug expressed concern about how their family and their own expectations had to alter to deal with such events, a fact of life that makes the story relevant. Bee put it well when she said:
"We've had such extraordinary troubles, and somehow they've turned us
ordinaryWe're not a special family anymore." (Tyler 199)
But the writer was saying that this is not true, as Ian and the people he loved progressed through life, they showed they were ordinary and special at the same time.
Doug's narrative and his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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