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It’s kind of like if you went through the wardrobe in the Narnia books, only instead of finding Aslan and the White Witch and horrible Eustace, you found this magic clothing world–instead of talking animals, there were feather boas and wedding dresses and bowling shoes, and paisley shirts and Doc Martens and everything hung up on racks so that first you have black dresses, all together, like the world’s largest indoor funeral, and then blue dresses–all the blues you can imagine–and then red dresses and so on.

Kelly Link’s “The Faery Handbag” takes the familiar story of the Chronicles of Narnia and creates a similar story to describe both the clothes in the thrift store and her grandmother’s handbag. As we discussed in class, writing a story by taking a familiar object and/or a familiar story can lead to the realism and fantasy that we as readers often enjoy.

Link also uses first-person point of view. It allows the reader to learn more about how easily Link has believed the stories her grandmother told her. First-person point of view also shows how unreliable as a character she may be because of her perception of the stories her grandmother told her and the ways in which she uses those stories to explain the events that take place in the story. Also we are able to see through the lens of a young child, who usually believes almost anything or any story his/her parents and/or grandparents tell them. Link even writes, “I know that no one is going to believe any of this. That’s okay. If I thought you would, then I couldn’t tell you. Promise me that you won’t believe a word.” Link has the narrator say this for two reasons: first, to make us question whether the narrator is trying to deceive the audience; secondly, also wants to make the narrator’s story of the handbag believable and intriguing. By introducing the story with the comparison to Narnia, it implements the fantasy aspect of the story and makes the story of the handbag more believable to the reader. It also creates a conflict between the narrator and the audience because the audience questions everything the narrator is saying. This is what makes this story a part of the fantastic realm.

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