Analysis Of Libra By Don Delillo

1802 Words 8 Pages
Libra by Don DeLillo is a novel about a fictional theory about the assassin of President John F. Kennedy, Lee H. Oswald. DeLillo has a unique presentation style as he presents the fictional story as a historical thriller. This presentation style changes the story as it is a mix of fiction and nonfiction. Libra is a creation of real characters and characters made up by DeLillo. However, there is a noticeable problem with this presentation style. The issue with mixing a true story and a fictional story is the blurring of lines between reality and fantasy. Presenting the assassination as a fictional thriller with fictional characters for the purpose of driving the plot and with trivial information presents complications. The complications are …show more content…
Throughout the novel DeLillo goes into paragraphs of details that does not particularly add to the storyline or drive the root plot by any means. This attention to detail reflects one of the supporting characters of the plot, Nicholas Branch. Branch is obsessed with knowing every detail there is to make the most accurate and definitive telling of the events of the assassination. Branch seems to be a slight reflection of DeLillo, they both have an obsession with detail. For example, DeLillo goes off on a seemingly irrelevant tangents of detail. An example of this is, “When Parmenter was gone, T-Jay sat in the bleachers watching the Vietnamese bounce each other around. The hot new station was Saigon. It was the talk of the base.” (DeLillo 120) This particular party does not add to driving the plot forward, it doesn’t affect anything. This detail is just an irrelevant filler. The use of additional excess information adds to story factor. There are two parts to the story factor, one is the entertaining part of the story and the second are the sections of the novel that make the characters real to the reader. However, the first definition of the story factor, the entertaining part of the story, adds to belittling the topic by focusing on the trivial details rather than the important details. This excess of detail belittles the assassination by …show more content…
There is a sense that the storyline itself is made up. We know that the storyline is real, however the made up part of the novel pushes the truth further and further from the reality and undermines the significance of the assassination. The fictional part of the story extends throughout the novel. The fantasy ranges from fictional character such as Win Everett and T.J. Mackey to the conversation between Oswald and his mother Marguerite. There is also a fictional exaggeration of some of the truth. For example in the beginning of the novel Oswald is riding the train, “…stand[ing] at the front of the first car, hands flat against the glass. The train smashing through the darkness.” (DeLillo 3) Most likely this is an exaggeration of some truth, but with the exaggeration the truth came a detail that added to the fictionalized story factor. In a way it says to the readers that this topic is not important enough to keep its truth as truthful as possible. It says that even with one of the most traumatizing events the United States has faced we are able to turn the story into something else, into a historical thriller, into a fictional portrayal, into a puzzle. In a way the story is turned into a puzzle that the reader must solve. Libra is set up through two main storytellers, Lee H. Oswald and the CIA agent. In the opening to the second section of the novel, the point leading up to the

Related Documents