Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?. By Jeanette Winterson Structural Analysis By Alberto De Meo. LITERARY GENRE. Memoir. Memoirs are representations of memory The writer follows the personal emotional impact of events as structuring principal
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By Jeanette Winterson
By Alberto De Meo
WHY poses a problem, a question
BE/COULD an ordinary question, theme of research
HAPPY meaningful life, human beings’general aim
NORMAL acting following the norm, repression of individual perspective on things and matters
Dedication paves the way to content.
The novel is dedicated to the writer’s three mothers:
STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF THE CHAPTERS
Wrong wrong choice, idea of mistake
Introduction of main topic:
SECOND CHAPTER: My Advice To Anybody Is: Get Born
wake up from ordinary life to find out who a person really is; narrator’s invitation to reflection
Description of Manchester the importance of roots
Quotations: F. Engels, The Condition of the English Working Class in England
Introduction of Jeanette Winterson’s mother apocalyptic nature
DO NOT RESIGN: FIGHT
Title: recalls incipit of the Bible
Word: emphasis on language.
Language: at the core of the chapter
Quotation: from Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
Keyword: Trouble reading as an act of rebellion (C. Winterson )
Different points of view on books
Use of language:
Dots = expectation
Quotation: Dr Jekill and Mr. Hyde, Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
READING AS REINVENTION
Home: a center of gravity
a place of order but
Feeling: being out of place in it.
Her home: books
Home influence on one’s life.
C. Winterson is a powerful character
Unbalanced Relationship: mother - father
Church: a place of hope and help.
Mrs. Winterson: sense of hyperbolic relevance of religion.
Religion = punishment of sins
Guilt = homosexual nature
SEVEN CHAPTER: Accrington
Mrs Winterson’s rejection of adoptive-daughter
Homosexuality = banished.
Mrs. Winterson’ obsession with religion
The pursuit of happiness
Escape as a way out
The title of the novel «Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal» appears
Break-up of relationship with adoptive-mother
Love for reading (particularly English literature)
«messages in a bottle»
a friend who can comfort from life difficuties.
TENTH CHAPTER This Is The Road
Title= quotation from the previous chapter.
The novelist quotes Gertrude Stein.
Admission to Oxford university
Reflection about woman society.
ESCAPE AS WAY OUT
Jeanette’ s university career
reflection about literature as a form of art.
Life in Oxford = life in a library
Jeanette’s university tutor behaviour
Mrs. Winterson inhospitality.
Jeanette’s life at university and with her last meeting with her adoptive mother.
Reflection about art and life against chronoligical time. Jeanette’s favours a life of emotions rather than a factual life
Sea Voyage metaphor for discovery.
Episode of Jeanette’s life
Sheep Drawer Treasure Certificate
THIRTEENTH CHAPTER: This Appointment Takes Place In The Past
Appointment: multiple references:
Keyword Mix of emotions during first meeting with biological mother
FIFTEENTH CHAPTER: The Wound
Wound mark, different meanings to different people.
She is the narrator and the protagonist.
The narrator tells about her life with a strict link to emotions
Jeanette’s relationships to her adoptive parents made her the writer she is.
Mrs Winterson dominates the first half of the book as she dominated Jeanette’s life.
The second half is written in response to another mother-tumult: the novelist’s search of her birth mother. Jeanette does not denounce her adoptive-mother but she wants to understand Mrs Winterson with her contradictions and eccentricities.
At the center of the narrative is Mrs. Winterson. She is a powerfull character because she has skills.
The novelist tells the reader abou:
Mrs. Winterson’s values
contempt for bodies
devotion to the principles of the Bible.
Mother and her Father=divide
Father’s absence was his presence