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English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing
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Things You've Inherited From Your Mother' is a second-person novel narrated by its main protagonist, Carrie, who is simultaneously narrating her experiences to herself. In light of losing her mother to ovarian cancer and refusing to confront her grief, Carrie has fragmented herself into actor and commentator, protagonist and narrator. The resultant internal monologue features a constant reference to a "you," which is not meant to evoke the reader, as is common in second-person texts; instead, second-person perspective is used by the narrator-Carrie to comment on and analyze the experiences of protagonist-Carrie. Consequently, Carrie sees her life as unfolding like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book (in which second-perspective is the standard), affording her the freedom from taking responsibility for her actions (as in such a book there is minimal choice for how to act) and a subjective reality that the narrating self has created (as the illusion of minimal choice is a construct of the narrator).
Adams, Hollie, "Things You've Inherited From Your Mother" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 8273.