Summary Of Alice Munro's No Advantage

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To write about the own life, is a popular topic in a wide range of media in Germany as well in Canada. For instance, the scholar Julia Rank uses the term “life-writing” to describe a broad genre in a Canadian context, including all types of factual literature which record life-stories as memoirs, diaries, letters. According to her, memoir becomes popular in Canadian literature in the late 1970s. She is even speaking of a “boom” in the context of biography. It is obvious that the increasing interest in “life writing” is related to an uncertainty about the own identity in the modern and post-modern age. Discussions about “narrative identity” or in that way identities are constructed indicates that identity is perceived as something constructed that bears similarity to literature. The noble-price winning Canadian author Alice Munro reflects this tendency in her short story “No Advantages” by depicting a protagonist who travels to Scotland to reconstruct the life-story of her ancestors. I will argue that her story leads the readers to think about the conditions of narrative identity as such. To…show more content…
It consists of a narrative about an autodiegetic narrator who travels to Ettric, a village in Scotland, to research on her ancestors. At first, it seems that she stated objective facts about them as an external focalizer, as the following example demonstrates: Here the narrator quotes an epitaph about her ancestor, and gives basic information about her ancestor. In this case, the narrator uses empirical data to back up her biography. The readers seem to witness a genealogical research. However, the research will become more story-like, as the fact that William Laidlaw had also a story name implies. The narrator still reports as an external focalizer a story that circulates about William Laidlaw. As a critical biographer, she immediately comments the story in a critical
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