I’m sorry that I’m only just doing this now but better late than never?
These are just a couple of things that I had wanted to include in my essay but didn’t make the cut, because I wasn’t too sure what exactly to do with them.
The first thing is a sequence on pages 10-11, where the television is sort of mirroring what’s going on in the house. You can’t always see the television screen, but what’s happening to Alison’s brother matches the dialogue. You have Bruce yelling at the brother for not being able to hold the Christmas tree up, and a dad on TV yelling at his son to stop playing a tune over and over again. In the narration, Alison does talk about the movie that’s playing, saying that “it could have been …like It’s a Wonderful Life” “…but in the movie when Jimmy Stewart comes home one night and starts yelling at everyone… it’s out of the ordinary”, implying that it was not so unusual when her own father yelled. Honestly, I don’t really have much to say about this other than describe it (hence why it got cut from the essay). I’m not sure why, but this scene really stuck out to me and I found it to be especially effective.
I also have a part in my essay where I talk about her use of artifacts, and was going to include newspapers, but I decided to stick to handwritten things for the sake of time and actually being able to pretend to know what I’m talking about. Newspapers come up a few times, like p. 27, before we see the funeral, we see the headline “LOCAL MAN DIES AFTER BEING HIT BY A TRUCK”, which allows for a brief and effective explanation as to why we’re at a funeral, which the book later elaborates on. The other newspaper that comes to mind is the one on p. 195 about HPA-23 while she’s imagining what her dad’s life might have been like. And again, I am not really sure what to do with these. The HPA one does suggest that Alison imagines that he could have had AIDS if he didn’t get killed, but the narrative says that explicitly as well.