• Jane Lilienfeld


Alcoholism is a multifaceted physiological illness, with a proba-ble genetic component, inflected by gender, social class, and milieu, and expressed both within and outside of cultural norms. Characterization in narrative—even in narratives that are written to problematize the very concept of character—can reflect the complexity and multifaceted nature of alcoholism and its effects on the alcoholic and those involved with him or her. Further, the story line of a novel can simultaneously reveal and resist revealing the impact of alcoholism on a character and on his or her family. The properties of narrativity—management of time, space, consciousness, inclusion and exclusion of events—can mimic the effect of alcoholism on the human mind. Narratives can appear to collude with characters’ denial and can, as well, demonstrate an expectation of the worst of circumstance, as if the narrative itself suffered from the hopelessness of alcoholic despair.


Biopsychosocial Model Story Line Narrative Strategy Oblique Commentary British Imperialism 
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© Jane Lilienfeld 1999

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  • Jane Lilienfeld

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