Only after finishing the book do we realize that the letters begin in a time when people ride around

Only after finishing the book do we realize that the letters begin in a time when people ride around

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Unformatted text preview: Only after finishing the book do we realize that the letters begin in a time when people ride around in wagons, and when the letters end, people are driving cars. Thus, the time span of the novel is about forty years. In addition, we soon realize that there are large gaps between letters, sometimes five years, but this information is not revealed by Walker herself. We gather this information from clues within the letters and by comparing letters. Walker does not write as an all-knowing, omniscient narrator, filling in the gaps and giving us background. We must rely on our own close reading and on the details that the women who write the letters Celie and her sister Nettie give us. There is yet another difficulty in reading this novel. We begin with Celie's letters and we encounter a language problem. Celie's letters are not written in standard English. Celie writes her letters in non-language problem....
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