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Oranges are Not the Only Fruit

Jeanette Winterson

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full title ·  Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

author · Jeanette Winterson

type of work · Novel

genre ·  Bildungsroman; post-modern novel

language · English

time and place written · England, 1983–1984

date of first publication · 1985

publisher · Pandora Press

point of view · The narrator speaks in the first person when recounting her life, in the third person when telling mythic stories, and occasionally uses the second person to directly address the reader.

tone · The tone varies according to the age of the narrator; often the narrator uses a wry tone when explaining her earlier life but uses a more melancholy tense when relating her later years. The tone of the inserted story sequences often is comedic.

tense · Present tense usually, with some history given in the past

setting (time) · The 1960s

setting (place) · An unnamed village in Northern England

protagonist · Jeanette

major conflict · There is a conflict between Jeanette sexual identity and her congregation, family, and initially even her self.

rising action · Jeanette doubts the quality of men; Jeanette falls in love with Melanie; Jeanette sleeps with Melanie.

climax · Jeanette is confronted about Melanie; Jeanette refuses to repent; Jeanette repents due to hunger but does not deny her idea that her self is different.

falling action · Jeanette starts a relationship with Katy; Jeanette does not see her lesbian love and her love for God as incongruous; Jeanette is caught with Katy; Jeanette accepts her identity and chooses instead to leave the church and her society.

themes · All stories are made up; The mythic journey; The world is not made up of binary oppositions

motifs · Oranges; The difference between God and his servants; Death and Dying

symbols · Pink mackintosh (raincoat); Shedach, Meshach, Abednego; The stone pebble

foreshadowing · Gypsy's prediction; Two women who run the paper store Jeanette's perceived "specialness;" Mother's early rejection of lesbians Jeanette's disagreement with the idea of perfection

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