Then We Came To The End
By: Joshua Ferris
I am still pondering the main purposes for the use of the first person plural. So far the only obvious purpose has been to convay a larger collective point of view. At first, the narration seemed fine with me, but ultimately I think what it did was, instead of involving me as part of the “we,” it distanced me from the book and the characters. I think it was because we are never given a glimpse of who the “I” is behind the “we.” When someone says “we,” it is as if someone is actually talking even if in so doing they represent the collective “we” in the novel. I never had a feeling that things were different here. I haven't been able to see who the representative of the collective "we" is. It so apparent though that there must be someone unique behing the "we". But by not knowing at this point the voice of “we”has became more of an impersonal outsider instead of a participant in the story. The narrator if it is actually a person, is someone who we have yet to discover and like I said before has made me feel more of an observer then anything, which disntances me from connecting to the characters. I hope sometime soon we will figure out who the person is, if any behind the "we".
The story culminates with the discovery that Lynn, one of the company’s
partners, a woman the other characters are afraid of, is dying of
cancer, exposing the fear she suffers in
her personal life. This differs so much from the persona she has mastered at
work. I think this is the beginning of the end of her life, of the group’s shared
experiences, and of the novel. Masks are taken off, and everyone begins to
realize how little they really knew of each other and worst of all how little
they really know of themselves. Surprisingly enough I find this to be true in everyday life. It seems to always take some dramatic turn of events to pull people together and before long, it was if it never happened and everyone continues on. When I say the beginning of the end of her life, I don`t necessairly imply death, but rather a change which will alter Lynn`s life and change her from the person she is now. People in this novel so accurately represent everyday people. Really how much do we know about ourseleves. The character`s are starting to see there is more to life. They realize they are more then their name, more then their place of work, and more then the people they associate with. It seems like what matters more now is enjoyment and fulfillment. Something they failed to realize earlier when everyone was being laid off.
As for predictions, I really think and hope we will figure out the true voice behind the narrator. I think it`s someone who we have known from the start of the book and maybe even a main character in the novel. If I have learnt anything from Joshua Ferris` writing style it`s that things are never what they appear. That being said, the narrator might be someone so obvious that maybe I am just missing what`s standing right in front of me. Any how, another prediction I have is that Lynn`s case of cancer is just one big hoax. I know it sounds harsh to say this, but something just doesn`t seem right. I think maybe she is even pulling this hoax to pull her staff closer together. If I am right, I am afraid to see the outcome of her plan.
Time to buckle down and continue reading. I'll keep yal posted.