13 Annotated Bibliography

Halberstam, Jack. “In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives.” New York University Press, 2005, pp. 1-2.

Jack Halberstam’s book In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives delves into Queer Theory and how queer individuals experience life differently from heterosexual people. Halberstam also uses his own experiences to speak on transgender representation in media. This book uses real world examples of LGBTIA+ experiences and representation to show the temporal differences. Halberstam’s section on what queer theory is and how different individuals experience it is used within the student essay “Nonlinear Memoirs.” Pages 1 and 2 are utilized in order to quickly explain what queer theory is and relate it back to the heteronormative experiences described in Alice Munro’s Dear Life.

Marrone, Claire. “States of Perception and Personal Agency in Alice Munro’s ‘Dear Life.’” The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, vol. 50, no. 2, 2017, pp. 85–101. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/44862251.

Marrone’s essay analyzes Alice Munro’s book Dear Life as well as her other pieces. By examining multiple pieces, Marrone aims to inform readers about Munro’s unique approach to the memoir and autobiography genres. In particular, Marrone delves into things such as childhood memories, family dynamics, and how perceptions change with age. She uses pieces by Munro as well as relevant articles and other information to back up her main ideas. Marrone’s section on perceptions changing with age is used as evidence to argue for heteronormative perceptions in the student essay “Nonlinear Memoirs.”

Nunez, Elizabeth. “Truth in Fiction, Untruths in Memoir.” Callaloo, vol. 37, no. 3, 2014, pp. 499–504. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/24265136.

Nunez’s essay looks at memory and its reliability within fiction and memoir genres. She uses her own personal experiences as well as works from various authors to talk about writing memoirs and how memory can exemplify or diminish such a genre. She also speaks on spreading truth via writing, no matter the genre. Nunez comments on Munro’s use of faulty memory and how she leaves some details up to interpretation. This section is used with the student essay “Nonlinear Memoirs” in order to showcase the nonlinear narrative structure of Dear Life.

Valdes, Marcela. “Some Stories Have to Be Told by Me: A Literary History of Alice Munro.” Virginia Quarterly Review, vol. 82, no. 3, Summer 2006, pp. 82–90. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=21373060&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

This is a summary of the literary history of Alice Munro’s life. The author seeks to explain why Alice Munro writes in such a verbose and flowery nature, and why she focuses so heavily on telling stories from her childhood. It analyzes her beliefs and writing strategies, and pins these to her forced Presbyterian upbringing.

Awano, Lisa Dickler. “An Interview With Alice Munro. (Cover Story).” Virginia Quarterly Review, vol. 89, no. 2, Spring 2013, pp. 180–84. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=87119387&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

This interview is a personal one in which Lisa Dickler Awano dives deep into Alice Munro’s writing style by quizzing her about her upbringing, her experience in life, and her relationship with her own memories. These are elements that are in the constant spotlight in her work, and this interview does well to peel back the curtain and explain why Alice Munro writes in her style.

Fiamengo, Janice Anne, et al. “‘First and Last’: The Figure of the Infant in ‘Dear Life’ and ‘My Mother’s Dream’ .” Alice Munro’s Miraculous Art: Critical Essays, University of Ottawa Press, Ottawa, 2017.

In Anne Fiamengo’s section of “First and Last” that focuses on “Dear Life”, she talks about how the title of Alice Munro’s work got its name from the almost melodramatic telling of the little baby, the young mother, and the crazy old woman. The text talks about how the care put into the geographical description of the home town translates to the maps of social boundaries and mobility that affected her seeing Diane, as well as her parents experiences with social aspects. Fiamengo writes about Munro and her mother’s relationship shown in the text, and how their family had to fight through adversity. She includes evidence from other short stories by Munro, including “My Mother’s Dream” to extrapolate on her points. Only this section of the book is utilized to speak to the social conformities that Munro and her mother were resistant to in “Dear Life”.

May, Charles E. “Alice Munro’s ‘Dear Life.’ Blogspot, 1 Oct. 2011, may-on-the-short-story.blogspot.com/2011/10/alice-munros-dear-life.html.

Charles E. May provides a short analysis of “Dear Life” on Blogspot, describing how real life can be put into a story. He described how Munro differentiates reality with fiction, and how Munro has a distinct type of writing that is almost similar to that of a rhythm. May gives a brief recount of the “Foreword” from The View from Castle Rock” to describe the difference or linkage between Munro’s stories and personal history. This analysis is used to describe the discrepancies in Munro’s mother’s earlier and later story tellings of Mrs. Netterfield.

Jumani, Fariha Ali. “Textual Analysis of Dear Life by Alice Munro.” 10 Dec. 2016, https://www.academia.edu/30715556/Textual_analysis_of_a_short_story_Dear_life.

In Jumani’s analysis of “Dear Life”, they talk about the characteristics of Munro’s writing, as well as positivity Munro has when recounting memories. They write about how Munro is able to describe and weave memories into a fictional sounding story. They also write about Munro’s ability to jump back and forth between times, and not having to be confined to the linear timeline that we usually see in storytelling. They describe Munro’s underlying motifs that make social statements about lifestyle differences. Jumani explores the limitations implemented in Munro’s life, as well as the vivid imagery used in “Dear Life”. This essay is utilized in order to extrapolate on the social differences in the town and country lifestyles shown in “Dear Life”.

Forsha, Stephen. “Virtue and Moral Development, Changing Ethics Instruction in Business School Education .” 2017, pp. 432–433, https://web-s-ebscohost-com.cwi.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=2&sid=2ecaba03-028e-42f6-a881-446655eaff09%40redis.

This student journal written by Forsha offers an insight into the relationship between students and their behavior in school, as well as in the workforce regarding morality. This article includes studies done regarding college students, but also takes into account people in general, in how they learn and interact morally in different settings. In the specific pages outlined, Forsha uses Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development to explain the different stages of one’s life regarding discipline and morality and argues that these stages may not be as linear as we once thought they were.

Readers can use this source to gain insight on the specific stages of moral development and how these stages affect the process of one’s brain when growing up. Readers can expect to learn why Kohlberg’s stages are still useful today when examining societies patterns and mindsets, and how these mindsets can change drastically due to environment. This is a helpful source to rely on when reading Munro’s “Dear Life,” because it gives reasoning to the character’s mindsets and actions due to what is happening around them. Based on the approach of viewing the story through Kohlberg’s stages of moral development and psychological critism, one can better examine “Dear Life” by using this source.

Ostrovsky, Parr, & Gradel. (n.d.). “Promoting Moral Development through Social Interest in Children and Adolescents.” https://web-s-ebscohost-com.cwi.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=487376a0-40d1-439d-b6ea-632670fb4e31%40redis

This journal of research and practice by Ostrovsky, Parr, and Gradel dives into the moral development of children starting from infancy to adults, with a focus on how one’s perception of morality changes over time, being a ‘step by step’ basis and process in the way that it happens. This article focuses on the ability to change and adapt morally to your environment based on people’s differing ideas and opinions. One can get insight into how academic learning in a child’s life is no more important than social learning, in the way that a child should be able to foster moral development, especially those within broken homes, or difficult circumstances of the like.

This relates to “Dear Life” because in this story Munro focuses on her relationship with school, and well as her relationship with her family in tandem. Within this journal, readers can gain insight to how Munro’s morality was shaped due to her mother’s strict views and her father’s treatment of her when she was younger, as well as her negative experiences with the boys in her school. This article explains how one’s morality is shaped not only academically, but socially too, as well as being shaped from one’s actions and the consequences of said action.

Reimer, J. (n.d.). “A Structural Theory of Moral Development.” https://web-s-ebscohost-com.cwi.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=5baf4661-d626-45e3-a053-2685c47d03ed%40redis

This article is by Joseph Reimer, a Research Associate for the Center for Moral Education at Harvard University. This article is about moral development, and more so the importance of said moral development in real life situations and scenarios. It includes an example of a scenario where a man steals his dying wife’s medication because it is too expensive for him. This brings up the question of morality from both the man who stole, as well as the person selling the medication. This in turn leads to different responses from people, who are all at differing stages of Kohlberg’s moral development theory. This article summarizes that one needs to understand what stage they are at morally to begin with, and then take action from there to grow and develop higher stages of moral capacity.

This article utilizes psychological criticism because it outlines the act of someone’s mind and how they think through complex situations and scenarios like the example used. This article also gives an idea of how one’s desires and fears can influence their reactions and moral capacity for the situation at hand, driving them to either be at a higher or lower level of the morality stages. The responses from people in reaction to the scenario of the man stealing for his wife can help readers understand this idea of a character’s fears and desires in a story such as “Dear Life.”


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Beginnings and Endings: A Critical Edition Copyright © 2021 by Liza Long is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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