Comparison Of Raising Children In Joan Didion's 'Blue Night'

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“‘What greater grief can there be for mortals than to see their children dead (Didion 13).’” Joan Didion utilizes this quote from Euripedes in her memoir Blue Nights which addresses the death of her daughter, Quintana , and it reminds that reader that losing a child is considered one of the hardest things a person could ever go through. For Didion this loss was only made more crippling because of it’s close proximity to the death of her husband, which occurred less than two years earlier. Within the pages of the memoir, Didion works on coming to terms with the tragic and young death of her daughter whilst also trying to understand the imperfect relationship that she had with her daughter while she was still alive. In this way, Joan Didion’s …show more content…
This book can be directly compared to Raising Wild by Micheal Branch because of both writing style and content. Both Didion and Branch combine research and hard facts as well as memories and contemplations in order to produce a moving piece of nonfiction. For Didion, research included medical and psychological journals in order to better understand the situations that she encountered; reflecting this, Branch used research into the land around him and it’s history in order to convey a narrative about raising children in a rather extreme setting. Furthermore, both Blue Nights and Raising Wild address the exact same topic: what it means to be a parent. The important difference between the two is that Didion starts at the death or her child while Branch starts at the birth of his. The effect of this is that the story that Branch is conveying to the reader is that of becoming a father, and this is where he starts his memoir from. At the beginning he admits to being afraid to even consider having a child, and as the memoir progresses he grows into his role as a father and the relationship between him, his daughters, and the land they live on. Didion does the same as she recalls her past fear to be a mother, her adopting her daughter, and how the relationship between them grew with age; where Didion diverges is that this …show more content…
Didion is well known for her impeccable diction and prestige flow, and this memoir delivers exactly that, while remaining intensely personal. Didion manages to address the rocky relationship that she had with her daughter in light of her tragic death. This is a task that many authors would find too daunting to achieve, but Didion does it in a way that is both beautiful to read and maintains sometimes heartbreaking emotional truth. As a result of all this, Blue Nights fits perfectly within the genre of literary fiction. Memoir such as this can often be a difficult understanding for the author, but Didion uses the experience in order to better make sense of the past and

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