Presentation on theme: "Introduction. Pat Conroy Born in 1945 His family was a study in dysfunction Dad = physically abusive Mom= social-climbing ; encouraged kids to repress."— Presentation transcript:
Pat Conroy Born in 1945 His family was a study in dysfunction Dad = physically abusive Mom= social-climbing ; encouraged kids to repress feelings Mom left Dad after 33 years of marriage—bitter divorce
He became high school English teacher. Taught in small, poor school on So. Carolina island Currently lives in San Francisco and Atlanta Most famous novels: Great Santini (1976) Prince of Tides (1986) Beach Music (1994)
Novel made into movie….
How would you describe Conroy’s writing style?
LANGUAGE “I have always loved my sister’s voice. It was clear and light, a voice without seasons, like bells over a green city or snowfall on the roots of orchids. Her voice is a greening thing, an enemy of storm and dark and winter. She pronounced each word carefully, as though she was tasting fruit.” (38)
“I was the neutral country, the family’s Switzerland.” (53) “Their life together was a thirty-year war. The only prisoners they could take were their children. But there were many treaties and lulls, conferences and armistices signed before we could assess the carnage of that war.” (111)
Tom on Lila… “She’s a leading character in this autopsy of my family and you’ll learn that her only job on earth is to spread insanity. She can walk through the produce department of a grocery store and even the Brussels sprouts have schizophrenia when she leaves. ” (142)
Tom on Henry… “We mistook his love songs for battle hymns. His attempts at reconciliation were mistaken for brief and insincere cease fires in a ferocious war of attrition. He lacked all finesse and tenderness; he had mined all harbors, all approaches to his heart….By the time I was 18 I knew everything there was to know about a police state, and it was only when I left his house that the long state of siege was ended.” (282)
CHARACTERISTICS OF HIS STYLE? Long, lyrical descriptive passages Complex vocabulary Poetic language (similes, metaphors, word connotation, etc.) Uses many symbols (Snow, dogs, spiders, seals, Callanwolde) Injects humorous tone even in the most bleak circumstances
Narration First Person—Tom Not chronological—therapy session Repressed memories get triggered and come out—not linear. Foreshadowing; facts are given whose significance will be revealed later,
Plot is revealed as it would be in therapy Chapter 1 present (1981) Chapter 2 9 years before (1972) Chapter 3 present Chapter 4 (1941) Chapter 5 present (therapy) Chapter 6 present
Is Tom a Reliable Narrator? He is fair (reveals both positive and negative qualities of his parents). (8) Mom taught him to notice details. (2) Candid about his faults (9) “The truth is this:…Nothing is missing. I promise you.” (10)
What do you know? What do you think you know? What would you like to know?
THEME “Because I needed to love my mother and father in all their flawed, outrageous humanity, I could not afford to address them directly about the felonies committed against all of us. I could not hold them accountable or indict them for the crimes they could not help. They, too, had a history—one that I remembered with both tenderness and pain, one that made me forgive their transgressions against their own children.”
IN FAMILIES THERE ARE NO CRIMES BEYOND FORGIVENESS. (8)
Relationships What conclusions can you make about Tom’s relationships with women? See pages 2, 4, 11, 16, 27 (Lila) 8, Ch. 2 (Savannah) 15, 19 (daughters) 25, 29, 30 (Sallie) Any potential connections to the author?