Joan Didion Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

Joan Didion Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Almost all of Joan Didion’s works are concerned with similar themes, and there is an interesting complementary relationship between her essays and her novels. Her essays generally seem intended to force the reader to strip away illusions about contemporary life and accept realities, even if they are bleak. The novels are generally explorations of characters crippled by illusions. To some extent, in each novel, the heroine is disabused of her illusions. The fragile hope that each novel holds out, however, is offered not in terms of this disillusionment but in terms of new illusions and almost meaningless gestures. Each novel ends with the heroine learning to care for others—for a husband, for a lover, for children, for...

(The entire section is 5152 words.)