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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel

Subject: Who Ownes the Novel?

From: Andrea Martine (martinea@basd.k12.pa.us)
Date: Tue Mar 21 2000 - 09:50:26 EST


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     I don't want to offend anyone, but isn't this question a bit esoteric?
I've been trying to develop a better idea for this concept. Something along
the lines of: Which of the four parts of a novel: Plot, Character, Setting
or Theme dominates this work above the others? (I know that all of these
things are so intertwined, but one usually dominates for me.) In Mitchner's
novels it is definitely the settings. In Homer, it's the characters...all
the zillions of them. In Snow Falling on Cedars it was also the
characters. In Cold Mountain it's the plot. In Red Heart by Alexander
it's the theme. How could we classify Siddhartha, The Stranger,
Metamorphosis, and so on? Wouldn't this be a good way to talk about how
books own us and become a part of our lives? After all, we are
sharing/experiencing the events in other members of the human race/animal
kingdom (I can't neglect Moby, White Fang or the Yearling) lives. We are
sharing for information, entertainment or pure pleasure. Isn't all of this
suppose to enlighten mankind? It reminds me of the old saying: "A son is a
son until he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her
life." Isn't a good novel, once read, the readers forever?
     What do all of you think about this troubling first question? Thanks
for any ideas all of you out there might have...Andrea Martine

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     I don't want to offend anyone, but isn't this question a bit esoteric? I've been trying to develop a better idea for this concept. Something along the lines of: Which of the four parts of a novel: Plot, Character, Setting or Theme dominates this work above the others? (I know that all of these things are so intertwined, but one usually dominates for me.) In Mitchner's novels it is definitely the settings. In Homer, it's the characters...all the zillions of them. In <I>Snow Falling on Cedars </I>it was also the characters. In <I>Cold Mountain</I> it's the plot. In <I>Red Heart</I> by Alexander it's the theme. How could we classify <I>Siddhartha</I>, <I>The Stranger, Metamorphosis, </I>and so on? Wouldn't this be a good way to talk about how books own us and become a part of our lives? After all, we are sharing/experiencing the events in other members of the human race/animal kingdom (I can't neglect Moby, White Fang or the Yearling) lives. We are sharing !
!
!
for information, entertainment or pure pleasure. Isn't all of this suppose to enlighten mankind? It reminds me of the old saying: "A son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life." Isn't a good novel, once read, the readers forever?<BR>
     What do all of you think about this troubling first question? Thanks for any ideas all of you out there might have...Andrea Martine
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