The Year of Magical Thinking Essay

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Joan Didion: The Year of Magical Thinking Ethos: Joan Didion is one of the most respected journalists and writers that have appeared in recent American culture. In fact, she bases many of her works and articles on American culture and politics. In The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion uses ethos to convince the reader that all people mourn and different ways. She uses the death of her husband and the struggles with her daughter’s illness to show the difficulties one has to face when losing people one loves. Throughout the book, Didion expounds to her audience the attempts she makes in order to make sense of the grief in side of her. At the beginning of the book she denies that any of the tragedies happened as a way to make her husband’s death seem like a dream: “he would need shoes if he was to return.” (p 37)- refers to when Didion was clearing out her husband’s office in order to give them away. The fact that she cannot give up his shoes in order for him to return shows that Didion is in the stage of denial in grief where she refuses to believe what has happened. “If I did not believe he was dead all along I would have thought I should have been able to save him.” (p 22)- Didion refers to one of the haunting thoughts in a person’s mind when they believe that they could have done something to prevent disaster. Here, and in many times throughout the book, Didion reaches out to the audience to remind them that she, too, had had those thoughts and knows all too well what it is like to go through the grieving process. This is how she establishes her credibility, and this is how she shares her story of grief. The Claim/Support: In The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion presents her main claim and credibility by stating how everyone goes through this process of grief where they start denying what happened and eventually learn to accept it. However, throughout the

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