Mailer's Song Stylistic Analysis

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The book is so seamlessly written that it is not merely lifelike but also, in the best sense, novel like. It narrates a story in a skillful manner, with much attention to character. DeLillo makes us familiar with some peculiar habits of the characters. Like Everett cannot make himself go to bed at night without checking that the oven is off, and then sometimes double-checking, and reminding himself as he climbs the stairs that he has in fact completed his check. No doubt DeLillo has chosen such a sensitive theme, that of the assassination of Kennedy, yet he hardly draws out the portrait of John F. Kennedy, the victim. This is because he is aware that most of the readers are already familiar with him. But he constructs a complex and convincing …show more content…
The characteristic style and rhetoric of Mailer here becomes more a voice and style of “recording.” The author’s function appears to be limited to a purely technical gathering of documentary material, and the narrative as a whole sustains an illusion that the story is being told by the people who know Gilmore.
Mailer truly views Gary Gilmore as a self-confident man. When Gilmore is re-introduced to his cousin Brenda in the beginning of the novel, the narrator immediately compares him to a bear (12). His strength is incredible to his cousin, whom, even her husband “had never gripped Brenda that hard” (12). Sometimes Mailer bluntly states that Gilmore is “always so manly” (235). In order to tell many sides of the story, Mailer writes with multiple perspectives, adding the opinions of those he interviewed to his narrator’s
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These tags emphasize the book’s connection to nonfiction because they read like a newspaper article. Early in the novel, Mailer establishes this pattern of dialogue tags. On page 47 of the book, the author uses “said” or “asked” in nine straight lines of dialogue: “said Vern,” “said Gary,” “said Vern,” the first part of the conversation reads. “Asked Brenda,” “said Gary,” “said Brenda,” and so on, Mailer relates. He appears to remove himself from the writing because the dialogue tags are so straightforward, even lacking descriptors. Mailer chooses what the characters say, and Gutkind’s argument attests that, “as in fiction writing, dialogue enhances action and characterization” (1997: 23).
DeLillo has also used the tool of description very effectively. In Libra the element of description is found to be quite impressive, as in the following

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