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Janice Galloway's, "Foreign Parts" explores the theme of fractured identity in an original and effective manner. In my SSL I shall explore how structure and characterisation are central in the development of this theme.

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Title Janice Galloway's, "Foreign Parts" explores the theme of fractured identity in an original and effective manner. In my SSL I shall explore how structure and characterisation are central in the development of this theme with close reference to the text, showing also, how Janice Galloway engaged my interest in an effective way. Janice Galloway offers her readers something, which is a little more controversial and appealing in its approach. "Foreign Parts" follows the story of two 'fragmented' women's search for belonging, as they travel a foreign country with useless maps and guides in the hope of acquiring some form of identity and independence. Galloway explores this lack of identity, experienced at some point by us all, by fragmenting and splintering the text to reflect the jigsaw characters. This novel ponders how, "We are neither real nor proper: just fraudulent moochers in other people's territory", and encourages the reader to explore fully the issue of splintered identity. In doing so we cannot avoid acquiring an in-depth understanding of the techniques used by Galloway and her unique style, also an appreciation of the importance of structure to the novel's success. The structure, notably the use of fragmented sentencing, I believe plays an essential role in achieving this success. ...read more.


Therefore Cassie experiences uncertainty in her search for belonging not only nationally, as is suggested above, but also finding a place historically proves difficult for her, as is made evident on Cassie and Rona's visit to a war cemetery: "The place was full of folk who belonged to somebody but none of them were hers. She had no right play acting or making up sentimental fictions while her pal was busy." I think this shows perfectly Cassie's character - she needs to belong yet fails to do so, she strives to connect with people, but cannot seem to achieve her goal. She makes up "sentimental fictions", as she has no sentimental memories of her own to reflect upon. Her past experiences with people had a negative effect on Cassie; these experiences break into the present through memories and photographs and have a similar effect to the extracts: "Rona took lots of pictures. It was one of the things Rona did. Pictures of disconnected non-human things like mountains waterfalls and god knows. Cassie's were all of people. People and animals but mostly people, smiling and telling lies." I believe the fact that her photos tell lies not only reveals the untrusting and quite bitter nature of Cassie, but also how Janice Galloway uses oppositions to emphasise the characters' lack of belonging. ...read more.


God knows. I've no sense of direction me. I haven't a bloody clue. Rona and me. We stand in separate places...Rona takes fresh aim, laughing. Defying gravity." This not only reflects the opposing personalities of the characters but also their rebellion against that which is expected - "defying gravity" - they defy that which is almost, in a sense, seen as mandatory in the progression of life. These women who were fragmented, jigsawed characters have, by their own selves, began to piece together a new life; a life which defies traditional discourses. Their holiday together has given them a chance to allow self-discovery and has created hope for their future. Janice Galloway's unique style is what I believe makes her novel, "Foreign Parts" truly accomplished. The disjointedness of her two characters is portrayed perfectly throughout the book and is essential in relaying the themes "Foreign Parts" explores. Galloway is dependant on structure, primarily the fragmented text, to reflect the confusion and lack of identity and stability, experienced by the characters, it is this stylish use of structure that holds the key to the novel's literary success. Galloway's text closely intertwines theme, structure and character, it therefore proves a difficult task to dissect this novel, but once accomplished it reveals themes which are important and relevant to many people in today's society. It is qualities such as these, which make this intelligent novel a contemporary and yet controversial success. ...read more.

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