LITERATURE: A Death in the Family – Tone

Even while the relationship of Jay and Mary is presented as a loving and happy marriage, there is subtlety in their dialogue before Jay leaves to see his sick father, and prior to that, in the easy relationship between father (Jay) and son (Rufus) that is in contrast.  While there is some awkwardness present in the spaces between conversation with Jay and Mary, between Jay and Rufus, the silence speaks for itself–there is no need to speak.

I think of John Updike’s Rabbit, Run and Rabbit’s obvious dislike of his wife, the silence there too speaking up in screams of loneliness and unhappiness. 

Dialogue then, and the lack of it, is a writer’s tool that Agee uses well.

This entry was posted in LITERATURE and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.