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A.L. Kennedy "Paradise"

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Wofta
Words 1292
Pages 6
While reading “Paradise” by A.L. Kennedy, several questions arise. The main character Hannah Luckraft, a 36 year old woman, is presented in a way that determines the reader’s opinion. She is supposed to be an alcohol addict for a long time. The reader has no other option than to believe that she is addicted to alcohol and that her actions and thoughts are influenced by alcohol indulgence. Therefore I would like to examine the arguments which enforce that assumption.
What makes it difficult to differentiate between the given scenario and other possible settings, is the fact that the reader only gets to know one kind of reality, according to the perception of Hannah Luckraft. A.L. Kennedy’s decision to tell the whole story as a first-person-narrative, leaves the reader with no other information than one can learn from Hannah Lurckraft’s point of view. If we take it for granted that Hannah Luckraft is an alcohol addict, major doubts about the validity of the information occur.
An alcohol addict may suffer from the Korsakoff's syndrome (cf. Kopelman 2012: 150), a neurological disorder that causes amnesia. In order to decide whether Hanna suffers from the Korsakoff's syndrome, too, we have to take a closer look at the symptoms that describe that disorder. Arthur P. Shimamura and Larry R. Squire state, that “the two main indications according to Korsakoff are called anterograde amnesia and retrograde amnesia. Anterograde amnesia is the inability to form new memories and to learn new information. On the other hand retrograde amnesia is a severe loss of existing memories.” (cf. Shimamura 1986: 165) The human brain developed several methods to fill the ‘gaps’ in our memory. According to D. Kopelman and his co-authors, one of the most common replacements for real memory is confabulation, where the patient invents ’fiction’ and these false recollections often represent real...

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