Analysis Of The Book ' Zoe Heller 's ' Textit { Notes On A Scandal '

2173 Words Dec 15th, 2016 9 Pages
Before detailing the events that take place between Sheba and the under-aged Connolly, Barbara assures the reader that she is merely the narrator, and that ‘This book isn’t about me’(Heller 4). Therein lies the most significant instance of irony that forms the crux of the narrative in Zoë Heller’s extit{Notes on a Scandal}: the novel uses its plot of an inappropriate affair as a means of revealing Barbara’s character and her unhealthy obsession with ‘Darling, darling Sheba’(244). Only upon reflection, once we are aware of Barbara’s instabilities, made increasingly apparent by Heller as the narrative progresses, can this irony be discerned. Barbara’s account is composed of a number of relationships, each steeped in various ironies, both internally and in relation to one another, such as the parallels in age difference between Sheba and Connolly and Sheba and her husband, but this essay will prioritise the relationship between Sheba and Barbara at the text’s core. extit{Notes on a Scandal} is a novel based solely on the ironies of Margaret’s sentiments; how they give insight towards the emotions of Barbara and Sheba, and reasoning towards the actions they take throughout the narrative.
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Before investigating the novel’s many relationships, it is necessary to acknowledge Barbara’s character traits in order to substantiate the idea that the novel 's greatest irony is that ‘This book isn’t about me’(4). This is a concept hidden in plain sight: Joanna Briscoe of extit{The…

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