As noted before, in Lemon Swamp, there is a common impulse to view history, especially one’s personal history, as leading inexorably towards certain “key” moments.

As noted before, in Lemon Swamp, there is a common impulse to view history, especially one’s personal history, as leading inexorably towards certain “key” moments. We saw this in Ben Robertson’s memoir – though possibly to a lesser degree, as he wrote in vignettes and was writing both a life and the history of a family in a particular place at a particular time. Mamie and Karen Fields, however, draw our attention to the ways in which the many moments of one’s life can be crafted into a single story, with a traditional beginning, middle, and end. And it would seem that, for the authors of Lemon Swamp, figuring out where the end comes was most important.

Now we want to consider a hypothetical concerning structure for Lemon Swamp. Karen Fields’ description of why they chose to end the memoir at that certain point might make one wonder what the effect would have been of ending at a different point in the memoir. We have a particular argument being made by the memoir in its current form – as all written texts, even memoirs, do make arguments. What might have been the argument about the significance of Mamie’s experiences if the memoir were ended at an earlier point? Choose another point at which to end the memoir (and provide brief, necessary quotations and page numbers as support, cited properly both in-text and on the works cited page). What is the argument for choosing this point?

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