Well-known writer and essayist Joan Didion, in her essay, The White Album, shatters every preconceived notion of the late nineteen sixties. Set primarily in Los Angeles, California Didion blends reportage and personal essay to recount cultural tensions that arose during the period- protests, murder, apathy-with her own psychosis. Incorporating fragmented narrative and film technique Didion offers snapshots of the events with language that is curt yet symbolic of her unique style. “The White Album,” demonstrates that everything in life is meant to teach us something. Through Didion’s experiences behind the pen, as a news reporter, her narration attempts to understand the lesson and discovers "We Tell OURSELVES STORIES in order to live" (Didion
2) This extract is found in “The White Album” written by Joan Didion, who is the creator of many significant different literature pieces, both novels and essays. “The White Album” was published in 1979, and is the first and longest essay in the book. In this essay Joan Didion essentially uses a women as a connecting thread to describe what was happening in America at that time. I believe that the woman may even be herself to a certain extent, trying to externalize all her thoughts. What is perceived from the essay is that Didion was submerged into the focus of some big events that were happening in that year, not only as a journalist but also as a bystander and a normal Californian.
Again using the negative word choice to prove how dangerous and mysterious the storm is, hoping for emotions to be touch as a result of it. The third sentence of the this section demonstrates the use of wording, “the pacific turned ominously glossy during the Santa Ana period,.... the peacock screaming in the olive trees by the eerie absence of surf.” “Ominously,” “glossy,” screaming, and eerie, all bear negative connotations, causing a gloomy ambience for the audience. Another way Didion clarifies what her goal is in writing this is by giving her story on her neighbor, “My only neighbor would not come out of her house for days, and there were no lights at night, and her husband roamed the place with a machete”(Section 2, sentence 6).
The United States is a country with ever-changing morals, social norms, and ideas. Triggered by significant events such as new laws or wars, the changes that occur usually result in altered attitudes towards existing morals, norms, and ideas. One of the country’s most important changes was the huge cultural shift among young people that took place during the 1960s which had an immense influence on society. The 1950s was a decade most do not pay much mind to due to it typically being seen as untroubled and quiet, although many things both good and bad, were growing under the surface.
Being a woman in the early twentieth century, she simply followed what her husband told her. She did not have her own voice and kept her thoughts to herself. With that being said, it is as if her identity is simply that of the average woman during her time. However, the days she spends in confinement go by, the identity of that woman drifts away and she is overtaken by the identity of her own mental illness. As said in Diana Martin’s journal on “Images in Psychiatry”, while the narrator in isolation she becomes “increasingly despondent and nervous”.
Ying Ying never learned to speak her mind or to control the path of her own life. As she watches Lena make the same mistake of passivity, she internally struggles to tell Lena what she sees. “I want to tell her this: We are lost, she and I, unseen and not seeing, unheard and not hearing, unknown by others.” (Tan 67) Ying Ying lived through a terrible marriage that left her voiceless.
Home is My Life Burden Home. An alternative life kept from the outside world. Behind closed doors, it can be filled with tension but others may see happiness. Life outside my home is my escape from the anxiety that’s built from within the walls of what is called my home. But now, it’s not fully a family with just me and my mother.
The repressed self is released out by detaching from reality. This detachment allows her to be free from social norms as her madness now allows her to no longer conform to cultural bounds. Her final protest, thus, comes out in the form of insanity. She can now escape from the cage of her husband by refusing to accept her identity as a repressed woman. This text thus brings to focus the dark theme that cultural and social expectations of women are so rigid that the protagonist has to give up her identity as a sane woman to finally achieve the freedom she is denied through
While reading the story, you can tell in the narrators’ tone that she feels rejected and excluded. She is not happy and I’m sure, just like her family, she wonders “why her?” She is rejected and never accepted for who she really is. She is different. She’s not like anyone else
Her personal experience is socially and theoretically constructed and emotions play an essential role in the process of identity formation. Her identity is not fixed, which is portrayed by inquisitiveness that her own mother and Aunt thought she was possessed, enhanced and made this story an enriching experience. The family is the first agent of socialization, as the story illustrates, even the most basic of human activities are learned and through socialization people
She creates stories and makes assumptions. She also prefers to talk, not listen. For example, when Beth and Calvin go to play golf, Calvin tells Beth that Conrad “needs to know that you don’t hate him”. She gets defensive immediately and starts to accuse Conrad of telling lies to his father, convinced that Conrad is against her. She shows signs of violence, including labeling Instead, she should control her stories and presume that people are basically good.
Ultimately resulting in her death. In Margaret Atwood’s short story, she asserts that being discriminated and isolated causes the narrator to have deep mental issues that lead to signs of depression through the protagonist’s unorthodox way of accepting her fate without any hesitation to prevent her life being taken away. In this story, the narrator has been lead to believe that she has no part in her community. Throughout her life, she has been isolated by her entire town even by those who she called family.
So what is a notebook, according to Joan Didion? For the majority of her essay, Didion seems to be beating around the bush about what her point actually is, as to some degree maybe even evading her own topic. She depicts many different entries incorporated in her own notebook, introduces the idea of what a notebook is not, yet never bring closure to this subject, and even goes to the extent of questioning herself about her notebook and answering herself. Nonetheless, Didion answers the main idea with small fragments throughout the essay and answers the question she has for the reader. As mentioned before, Didion does not use or have a notebook for literary publication, but for her own self, to remind herself of what she thought and how she