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Sunday, 12 May 2013

Individual Post 5: Narrative Structure

     On it's way to the climax, this book will often go from rising action to falling action and back again. I know this is quite common among longer books. It wouldn't be exciting if it were the same rising action for 200 or even 300 pages. However, one very unique thing I found was I couldn’t really choose 1 specific chapter for the climax. The action continues to rise after what one may think of as the point for falling action to begin. Also, there are really only one to two chapters of introduction, or exposition. You learn more as the book progresses. Now, I think this can repel readers by giving them too little information and them thinking, “uh, ok, but no thanks. I don’t know enough to actually understand what is happening.” But, there is a flipside. Readers can be drawn in by the lack of information and the knowledge that there must be more inside.

     So, to go a little more in depth about the exposition, the strategy Farmer used was interesting. She gave the only chapter in the book not from Matt’s perspective to the man who was given the task of getting at least one Matt to be born. This, I found, only served as a way to gain info on the backstory, and could mislead readers to think that the chapters would be from different perspectives.

     Next are the series of rising and falling actions leading to the end of the book. There seemed to be one of these for each of the times when a major change occurred in Matt. Either he found out something, or interacted with someone to result in a plot twist (usually although, sometimes there were opinion changes). Towards the end of the book, it became apparent that no falling action was happening. It was a dissatisfying cliffhanger end that left you trying to piece together what would happen to Matt. The author to my knowledge also wasn’t going to write a sequel – but apparently one is coming out around September of this year.

     I personally think there was no falling action really because Farmer wanted the readers to make up their own individual versions of what happened to Matt, María, Celia, Esperanza, the lost boys, and the US and Aztlán. But I don’t feel we can do that, because Farmer knows Matt better than any of us.

(I chose not to include specific evidence because I wanted to focus specifically on the structure, not the story)


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