Chapter

Language Acquisition: Life Sentences

Kenneth Millard

in Coming of Age in Contemporary American Fiction

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780748621736
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651740 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621736.003.0005
Language Acquisition: Life Sentences

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This chapter shows the conventions and characteristic habits that are present in coming-of-age novels. It shows that some novels recognize that the story of the self can only be conducted in a language that it partly prescribed. The discussion looks at Scott Bradfield's The History of the Luminous Motion and Mark Richard's Fishboy, which present an analytical commentary on the form of the narrative, while simultaneously telling their respective stories. These novels also feature a form of journey narrative that has gone wrong. It is also observed that both novels are marked by the male protagonist's sense of possession by the mother, or of the mother, which is a direct opposition of the predominantly male environment they are situated in.

Keywords: conventions; characteristic habits; story of the self; analytical commentary; journey narrative; possession; male environment

Chapter.  15366 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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