Literature, Language, and Life

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Monthly Archives: May 2016


Time – Shift
“Through time shift, narrative avoids presenting life as just one thing after another, and allows us to make connections of causality and irony between widely separated events. A Shift of narrative focus back in time may change our interpretation of something which happened much later in the chronology of the story, but which we have already experience as readers of the text.”

“Time shift is very common effect in modern fiction, but usually it is “naturalized” as the operation of memory, either in the representation of character’s stream of consciousness.”

Lodge explains that authors sometimes avoid presenting life as just one thing after another, and that having time-shift in a story gives us a better understanding of the plot, and what will occur at the end of the story or maybe what happened before. Knowing the past of a certain story helps the reader analyze the text, and give a more detailed understanding of the story, which makes it also easier to read for the reader. Kurt Vonnegut lacks the use of Time-shift in his stories, most of his short stories that we have read focus on the future, and does not give a detailed background of the plot. “Long walk to forever” is a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, that lacks the use of time-shift, this short story speaks Newt who is a childhood friend of Katherine, this story tells us that Newt has had feeling towards Katherine for the longest, bus decides to confess his feeling to her a day before her wedding, time-shift would have been useful in this case to show us the relationship between Newt and Katherine during their childhood, and would have made the story much more interesting if time-shift was used to explain Newt’s feelings that have been there since his childhood with Katherine.