Narcissistic Trope In The Armies

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The narrative world of The Armies provides readers with multiple and diverse meanings to the incident of the anti-war March towards the Pentagon. Multiplicity emerges out of the various perspectives of the same story told by the reporter of The Time and retold by Mailer, the narrator. In the process of the Time reporter’s telling and the narrator’s retelling of the scenes of the March, readers become aware of their involvement in the process of creating the fictional universe of the text. The Reporter of The Time and Mailer, the narrator, alternatively exchange roles as a reporter/narrator and as a reader of the same story. However, in the linguistic mode, The Armies constitutes itself as a quintessential narcissistic text with its “building blocks,” that is, “the very language whose referents serve to construct that imaginative world” (Narcissistic Narrative 29). On the linguistic sphere, Mailer, in The Armies, skillfully reconciles the generic opposites by deliberately giving the subtitle of his work: ‘history as a …show more content…

It enables the author to engage himself into the narrative itself to reiterate the textual self-consciousness and self-reflexivity of the narrative by frequently drawing the attention to the writing process of the narrative. By so doing, the author asserts historically his on presence and participation in both the historical moment and the narrative. Thus, the narcissistic trope in The Armies “strengthens and points to the direct level of historical engagement and reference of the text” (Hutcheon, A Poetics 117). The meta-factual and narcissistic elements appear everywhere in the text. After holding the mirror twice before up to the text and the reader, the author/narrator holds it again up to the character of Mailer himself. So, in the last chapter of the first part, the author/narrator confuses and blurs the boundaries between Mailer as an author/narrator and as a

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