ISP Stage One – Analysis of Novel
1. It is quite prevalent that the novel, “Youth in Revolt”, contains all the elements of a picaresque novel. The novel is written in a diary format and is very satirical.
In particular, the protagonist Nick Twisp exhibits a very satirical view on his life and his surroundings. The people portrayed in the book are of low social and economic class. In fact, a large portion of the novel is set in a trailer park where Nick, his mother, and his mother’s boyfriend escape to get away from unsavoury lenders. The novel uses vulgar language at times, and it is mostly focused on Nick Twisp’s attempts to lose his virginity. Although the novel can be seen as a modern picaresque masterpiece, it is infused with romantic elements, especially in Nick’s interactions with his female protagonist, Sheeni Saunders. Therefore, it can be concluded that the novel exhibits both picaresque elements as well as romance elements.
2. The character that is most developed is Nick Twisp. He is the main protagonist of the novel and we read through the novel in his perspective. Nick is a sexually hyperactive honour roll student, but circumstances have forced him to live with his mother and her various boyfriends. Nick’s family life can be seen as one of the challenges to Nick’s normal development in the story. He feels trapped and encounters resistance to displays of his innate intelligence.
Another conflict that Nick is facing in the story are his interactions with the female protagonist of the story, Sheeni Saunders. His attempts to copulate with her end in failure every time, although he enjoys her company. During the progression of my reading of the story (appx 260 of 500 pages) both of these major conflicts have remained unresolved.3. Meaning- The word “meaning” is generally defined as the “message” being portrayed from the source to the subject.
Although some may believe that “Youth in Revolt” is simply a teen novel that has no real message, I believe that it portrays a very realistic portrayal of the life of teens in the early stages of their adolescence. This is the inherent message and “meaning” in the novel.Style – The style of the novel is extremely unique compared to other novels in the same genre. The story is presented in the first-person point of view, whereas most fiction works utilise the third-person-view. The tone of the story is also playful, ironic, and informal at the same time. Metaphors and similes are very prevalent, reflecting the above-average intelligence of Nick Twisp in the story.
Structure – The structure of this novel falls into a very unusual format for the fiction genre. It is presented in diary format, which helps the reader understand and comprehend the sequence of events in the story. This is also called an “epistolary novel”. Due to the novel being a chronicle of Nick Twisp’s life, it has to be presented in a logical and structured sequence.Background/Influences – It can be seen that there are many influences in the novel, especially from the prolific teen era of 80’s.
We can see that the trailer park, the manner of communication and the setting in the book is all reminiscent of that era.1. One idea that I really like in the book is how Nick Twisp deals with the struggles he faces in his daily life. He seems to have a carefree way of dealing with the obstacles he faces in his life. One thing I don’t necessary like in the book are the extreme details on his sexuality, but I understand that it is probably necessary in order to obtain a better understanding of his personality.
2. Some of the themes that I am thinking of pursuing are morality vs. religion, exhibited between Nick Twisp and Sheeni Saunder’s parents. Another theme that I am thinking of pursuing are the social class distinctions present in the novel between Nick Twisp and the inhabitants of the trailer park. I’ll also try to delve more deeply into the love/hate relationship exhibited by Nick and Sheeni.
3. Some of the reading strategies that I use to help me fully comprehend the book are making predictions regarding the outcome of the story, asking and answering questions regarding the story, and visualizing the story in my head. I also like to summarize the novel’s diary entries to obtain a condensed understanding of the novel.