“If you look at de package, you will see dat de expiry date is December eighty-three. Dis is a new drug from de white people’s labs and plenty research done get into it. It is manufacture in Yugoslavia. In dat country dey call it narcotics and it is costing plenty money.” (pg. 9)
This quote, as well as many others of its kind throughout the first ten chapters, really stuck out to me as telling of what the author’s main purpose is with this novel. Not until now in the semester have we reached a novel that puts such a strong emphasis on dialect.
It was slightly present in The Dubliners, and the colloquialism in the British works were certainly different from what we use now, but Graceland gives us the first taste a a strong focus on dialect as indication of character development or culture exposure. Not only does the dialect say something about each character who uses it (i.e. their lack of education or full immersion into the culture), but it also reminds the reader of the culture about which we are reading. Oftentimes in this class I have gotten so lost in the plot and characters that I forget that we are in a world literature course that focuses on the different varieties of cities. This novel does not allow that, however, as we are constantly reminded of the circumstances under which this storyline takes place simply based on the dialect the author, and consequently the characters, use.
As of right now, I am quite fond of this change, as it achieves a level of interest from me that the other novels were unable to obtain. However, I can see myself getting annoyed at the disruptions later on in the novel as the use of dialectic language becomes tedious, as it has the potential to retract from the effect of the meaning behind these very important words. We will see as time passes whether or not this authorial decision will in fact prove to be a good choice!