Biblical Analogues in Joan Didion’s Play It as It Lays

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

Fall 2016


Joan Didion uses Biblical analogues in her novel Play It As It Lays (1970) to recount the American western narrative she learned in her youth, “the story that the wilderness was and is redemptive” (“Thinking About Western Thinking” 14). Her use of scriptural analogues to retell this American western myth helps us to understand her novel as a way of recognizing the meaning of our individual moral experience.