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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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why be happy when you could be normal

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

By Jeanette Winterson

Structural Analysis

By Alberto De Meo

literary genre
LITERARY GENRE

Memoir

  • Memoirs are representations of memory
  • The writer follows the personal emotional impact of events as structuring principal
  • She does not follow chronological order
  • A memoir is not an autobiography
ipothesis from the title
IPOTHESIS FROM THE TITLE

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
DEDICATION

Dedication paves the way to content.

The novel is dedicated to the writer’s three mothers:

  • C. Winterson: adopted mother
  • Ruth Rendell: English novelist
  • Ann S. : her biological mother or a lover
structure
STRUCTURE
  • The text is organized into 15 paragraphs and a coda

STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF THE CHAPTERS

  • Title: fosters expectation, and hypothesis
  • Content: fosters links between other chapters
  • Characterization: how characters are portrayed
  • Settting
  • Narrative Technique
slide6

FIRST CHAPTER: The Wrong Crib

Keyword:

Wrong  wrong choice, idea of mistake 

Introduction of main topic:

  • Jeanette’s adoptive family
  • her life as the wrong adopted child

DISPLACEMENT

SECOND CHAPTER: My Advice To Anybody Is: Get Born

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

slide7

THIRD CHAPTER: In The Beginning Was The Word

Title: recalls incipit of the Bible

Keyword 

Word: emphasis on language.

Language: at the core of the chapter

Quotation: from Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

Postmodernist technique

slide8

FOURTH CHAPTER: The Trouble Of The Book…

Keyword: Trouble  reading as an act of rebellion (C. Winterson )

Different points of view on books

  • the protagonist’s
  • her mother’s

Use of language:

imaginary atmosphere

irony

Dots = expectation

Quotation: Dr Jekill and Mr. Hyde, Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

READING AS REINVENTION

slide9

FIFTH CHAPTER At Home

Keyword  Home

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

slide10

SIXTH CHAPTER: Church

Church: a place of hope and help.

Mrs. Winterson: sense of hyperbolic relevance of religion.

Religion = punishment of sins

Guilt = homosexual nature

Sentence= exorcism

SEVEN CHAPTER: Accrington

Setting:

  • Size
  • Inhabitants
  • Shops.
slide11

EIGHTH CHAPTER: The Apocalypse

Title= tragic

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

slide12

NINETH CHAPTER English Literature A-Z

Love for reading (particularly English literature)

Books:

«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

slide13

ELEVENTH CHAPTER Art and Lies

Art

Jeanette’ s university career

 reflection about literature as a form of art.

Life in Oxford = life in a library

Lies

 Jeanette’s university tutor behaviour

 Mrs. Winterson inhospitality.

Jeanette’s life at university and with her last meeting with her adoptive mother.

INTERMISSION

Reflection about art and life against chronoligical time. Jeanette’s favours a life of emotions rather than a factual life

slide14

TWELTH CHAPTER: The Night Sea Voyage

Night  Darkness:

  • dark secret,
  • mystery
  • Jeanette’s mood

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:

  • love affair with Susie
  • research about adoption
  • last meeting with her father
  • appointment with her biological mother.
slide15

FOURTEENTH CHAPTER: Strange Meeting

Keyword Mix of emotions during first meeting with biological mother

FIFTEENTH CHAPTER: The Wound

Wound  mark, different meanings to different people.

  • Jeanette Winterson
  • Mrs. Winterson
  • Anne
  • Reflections on her voyage through time
  • Finally she feels at home

All wounded

slide16

CHARACTERIZATION

JEANETTE WINTERSON

She is the narrator and the protagonist.

The narrator tells about her life with a strict link to emotions

Jeanette’s relationships

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.

slide17

MRS. WINTERSON

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

ideas

life-style

physical appearance

Strong reaction/s

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