The Trick is To Keep Breathing - Janice Galloway

Covers everything, good book for PSL

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  • Created by: Ruth
  • Created on: 06-03-10 12:56

The Funeral


  • Starting point of Joys depression
  • Cannot mourn Micheal properly and isn't mentioned at his funeral
  • This makes Joy feel like she never existed and has no purpose

"1. The Revs. Dogsbody had chosen this service to perform a miracle

2. He'd run time backwards, cleansed, absolved and got rid of the ground in stain.

3.And that stain was me.

I didn't exist the miracle had wiped me out."

This makes Joy feel that she was never a real part of Michelas life this means she cannot mourn him properly and therfore never comes to terms with her greif

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Phantom Pregnacy


Joy feels she has no role in life.She becomes isolated from society and feels she means nothing to anybody Especially when she uffers a phantom pregnacy half way through the novel.

"Empty space I had nothing inside of me."

This firmly establishes the fact in Joys mind that she has no role in life as she isn't a mother, wife, sister etc. and doesn't mean anything to anyone.

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Joy's role in life.


Joy feels like the only time she has a point is at her job, as a drama teacher.

" This is my workplace. This is where i earn my defenition, the place that tells me what I am."

This is IRONIC. The only time Joy feels like she has a point is when she is pretending to be someone else. Not knowing yourself is a key factor in depression.

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Deja Vu


In the margins of the novel Galloway places repetative phrasees.



that stop

before it t

late but o

ignore the"

This symbolises the voice in Joy's head trying to break thrugh, the voice of reason she cannot quite hear. This is why the writing is dijointed as if Joy cannot quite hear it properly or doesn't want to.

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Point to Point


In the book Joys narrative drifts from point to point.

"Theres no telling if it's really... Last Saturday night."

This shows Joy has no main focus in life, meaning she drifts from event to event in ife. This highlights her depressoion.

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Focus on Trivial Things


Joys narrative also focuses on very trivial things rather than the main events of the novel.

"Notebook Magazines Needles Wool Notebook Magazines Needles..."

Joys emptyness causes her to focus on these small insigiciant things. She is trying to fill void in her life with these things rather than face up to her problem.

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The Trick.


Throught the book Joy is consttantly trying to fing the "Trick" to life.

"The grese behind the cooker...the trick is not to look."

Joy is consatantly looking to the key to leading a happy life. She is convinced she is missing something and this is why she is unhappy. Also a good example of Joys attitude to life, if she cannot see it it musn't be there.

The consatnt looking for the trick is making Joy lose herself more and as a result slides further into depression. By the end of the book Joy thinks she has found it,

"The trick is not to think just act dammit act."

Joy is trying to hide from the truth by hiding behind an act. She doesn't know who she is anymore and this is what is keeping her depressed.

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sophie Jardine


Good job thanks

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