What is Karren Hesse's style and technique in writing Out of the Dust?What writing style does Karen Hesse use in her book Out of the Dust?

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thewritingteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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Out of the Dust is a first person narrative, meaning the protagonist  (main character) tells the story in his or her own words.

What sets this narrative apart from others is that Hesse's protagonist, Billie Joe, doesn't specifically tell the story, but rather reveals it as her journal entries. Most diaries are private tings, but Billie Jo's journal is intended to be reach, so she is careful to add descriptions and explanations of things. However, her perspective in her telling of the story is her own view of the things that happened, so they may or may not be completely accurate. This makes Billie Jo an unreliable narrator.

The other things that sets this novel apart from others is that the chapters aren't necessarily connected thematically. Billie Jo tells about events in her life, but she doesn't really put the together with a beginning, middle, and an end. It's almost like glimpses into her head from time to time. As you read all of them, you get a good sense of the storyline without it being told to you word for word.

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