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A Death in the Family
Author James Agee
Type of work Novel
Time and place written 1955; New York City
Date of first publication 1957
Publisher Grosset and Dunlap
Narrator Unnamed third person narrator
Point of view Third person omniscient
Tone The tone changes throughout the story. Often when there is no dialogue, Agee's writing style is poetic and abstract; during the dialogue, the language is realistic and down-to earth
Tense Immediate past
Setting (time) 1915
Setting (place) Knoxville, Tennessee
Antagonist There is not a specific antagonist per se—the death of Rufus's father serves as a general antagonist to every character
Climax Jay's death
Themes The role of religion; childhood perception
Symbols The butterfly
Foreshadowing Description of the automobile starting up at the end of Chapter 2; the title of the novel
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