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Please explain William Golding's use of literary postmodernism in Pincher Martin.

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chindhu | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:04 PM via web

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Please explain William Golding's use of literary postmodernism in Pincher Martin.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted January 25, 2010 at 12:47 AM (Answer #1)

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Some tenets of postmodernism are that the world is fragmented and this fragmentation ought to be celebrated and exploited in literature. In addition the definition of self is fragmented as well therefore self can't be identified in literature but can only be implied by externals, as in Muriel Spark's Pride of Miss Jean Brodie in which the characters are described by oft repeated catch phrases.

In William Golding's novel Pincher Martin, which some critics said should have been a short story instead of a novel, depicts postmodernism in regards to the hero Christopher and the reality of the story told. First, Christopher experiences a fragmentation of identity to the extend that he actively seeks to construct one for himself along with a world for that identity to inhabit. Secondly, the reader learns that this attempt at identity and reality construction are fictional, a product of Christopher's mental efforts and nothing more, which depicts the postmodern tenet of fragmentation of reality: The imagined and the material vie with one another because of the fragmented nature of the latter, the "real" world.

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