Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Techniques used within nineteen minutes by jodi picoult to create such an amazing book.

Submitted: November 09, 2009

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Submitted: November 09, 2009

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Novels have been used for centuries to raise awareness of certain pressing issues of the time. In nineteen minutes by Jodi Picoult the relation of school shootings and childhood bullying is addressed. This book was written after the Columbian shootings and during the writing period on 21st of March 2005 Jodi Picoult was confronted with the Red Lake shooting. These tragedies played a big role in Jodi Picoult’s writing and the shaping of her characters and their struggles.  Jodi Picoult used a third person sympathetic point of view, flashbacks within structure and diary entries within exposition to convey this to the reader, engaging them fully and keeping the pages turning to the very end.
 
 
Jodi Picoult uses a variety of techniques to evoke emotion from her reader. One of the several dominant ones is her choice of point of view. The story is told through third person sympathetic focusing on different people throughout, this includes the judge on the case Alex who also plays the role of the mother of one of the students involved because of this point of view this book would appeal to mothers in particular since they know what the worry feels like. Some other points of view she uses are those of Patrick (who is the investigator of the case), Jordan (the defence attorney on the case), Lacy (the mother of the shooter). The two most eye opening points of view that are more likely to draw int eh younger generation are those of Josie and Peter. Josie was one of the student survivors of the shooting and Peter was the boy who walked into school with a gun and shot both students and teachers. This wide variety of views puts a lot into perspective for the readers, it gives an all rounded opinion of the shooting. This choice of point of view also assists in giving the reader a lot of information and granting them the opportunity to make opinions on characters and situations by them selves. This helps convey this grave issue by balancing out opinions of characters and allowing the readers to all interpret the situation differently and makes relating to characters a lot easier such as when we get to view their weaknesses and their thoughts, “At that moment, Josie could not remember the pills she was hoarding in her room; she could not remember crying in the shower; she could not remember anything but what it felt like to be adored. I’m lucky she told her self,” this quote reveals to the audience the weakness within Josie one of the main female leading roles.
 
 
Structure plays a large role in conveying the issue of the novel. Throughout the 568 paged book we are transported from the present day to the past. This opens widows of opportunities to give out details about the characters previous relationships and life events. It allows the reader to learn more about each character and what lead to the event of the Sterling high school shooting. The flashbacks involve both the childhood and events that occurred close to the shooting incident. This helps to address the issue of both the impact of childhood bullying on children as they grow as well as the impact of a shooting within a school . The flashbacks alter our perceptions of characters and we are forced to change our views due to the fact we were exposed to the reasons and consequences of certain events. One of the many significant flashes goes between Peters suicide confession to Jordan, “’Then who were you trying to kill?’ On the opposite side of the room the air conditioner choked to life. Peter turned away. ’Me,’ he said.” This is ten days after the shooting it then flashes to a year prior and from his mothers point of view we see the death of the family dog and his attitude towards passing away. “Lacy had always considered her self lucky to have somehow received a child who was not the cookie-cutter American boy, one who was sensitive and emotional and so in tune with what others felt and thought.” This showed how loved he was by his mother and how highly she thought of him, in contrast to what he came to be now. This plays a large role in conveying the issue because we have the opportunity to try to understand how his situation is reflected in his final actions and how even of the evils he committed there is never a simple answer.
 
 
Nineteen Minutes has a few factors that radiate from the book, making it an absolute page turner. Exposition is used in a variety of ways through the novel to foreshadow and give coded additional information. This is done through the several diary entries included within the story. These entries are not named and even though we are not told who its written by we as readers have a fair idea of who wrote the entries. These entries show the side of the character that feels helpless to what is happening, that feels that the responsibility is shared and not fully put onto one person. “By the time you read this I hope to be dead. You can’t undo something that happened; you cant take back a word that’s already been said out loud. You will think about me and wish you had been able to talk to me out of this. You’ll try to figure out one right thing to say, to do. I guess I should tell you, don’t blame your-self, this isn’t your fault, but that would be a lie. We both know that I didn’t get here by my self.” This is an extract of the first diary entry we are shown in the book. This shows the little grief he suffers and how he had known what was to come, it seems like Peter had decided that the blame no longer rested on him alone. We see the entries of both peter and Josie but Josie’s tackle the difficulties of being popular where as Peters talks about his actions and some of the reasons behind them. This helps out understanding of both situations and makes it easier to understand the characters and their emotions to the situations.
 
Jodi Picoult’s novel exposes the difficulties faced by children bullied in childhood and how bullying in general effects the child at hand. It also showed the troubles faced by students involved in tragedies and how events like it, never have only one story. Jodi Picoult did this brilliantly using Point of view, structure and exposition to her advantage. She captures the complex details of human interactions within this novel making it a wonder to read. This pressing issue of how cruel children can be to children and how unfair treatment provokes more unfair treatment are just some of the many issues Jodi tackles within her spectacular novel. This engaging novel gives the reader the option to make his/her own judgment of the character and captivates, like any other superb novel should.


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