Well that was a wild ride from start to finish. As logical as it seems now looking back, I was so shocked when Andreas jumped off the cliff to his death. The whole section of him talking with “The Killer” and struggling for control was really interesting. It warped the narrative perspective of this novel even farther since in The Killer section, we do return to a close third perspective. However, The Killer only exists inside Andreas’ head, and we as readers get to see this conflict going on. Instead of just being close to a certain character, the narrative perspective bends and we get to see more interiority than we usually get with this 3rd person perspective.
Mental illness has been one of the issues that has popped up recently nowat the end of the novel. We talked about Anabel’s eating disorder on Tuesday and how Tom basically ignores it, brushing it off as just Anabel being Anabel. Now we see Andreas fall to mental illness as well, however the fact that these two characters or others around them never acknowledge or mention anything about mental illness is interesting. In my opinion, Franzen chose to do this because he strives to be realistic. It becomes a critique on 21st century culture to have no one mention mental illness until it is too late. However, I wonder how accurate this choice is? In America as a whole, how do we deal or talk about mental illness? Or as we see in Purity, how do we personally deal with someone with mental illness? How has the 21st century changed our actions towards mental illness for the worse and for the better? I don’t have answers to these questions, I wish I did, but Franzen tries to answer them in his own way, it seems, at the end of Purity.