English 12 Name:
Kim Manning Block:
Novel Study: Introduction to APPENDIX B
(Characters - Issues - Themes - Author’s Values)
Overview of Appendix B:
Appendix B is a three hour open-book test that will take place in the week that you have finished reading your novel (week 4 of our novel study unit). The purpose of Appendix B is for you to identify specific incidents and quotations from the novel that reveal its 2-3 most significant characters (personalities, motivations, connections to other characters), and link those to topics/issues the novel addresses to help identify the values the author suggests through his/her writing, and to link all three of those aspects together to identify the novel’s main themes (supported by specific quoted evidence from throughout the novel). You will note the connection between Appendix A - Novel Precis and what is coming with the Appendix B test.
A character profile is a written summary of a character that focusses on specific incidents and quotations (with page references) from your novel for each of 2-3 significant characters that reveal the character’s: personality - motivations (the reasons/background why he/she makes the choices/decisions he/she does) - personal background.
Issues Raised in the Novel:
Novel authors raise several topics/issues throughout their novels (eg. anything from relationships, corruption, social issues --poverty, violence, the treatment of seniors/ the disadvantaged, to friendship, adolescence, maturity).
As you read your novel it is a very good idea to write down topics/issues raised along with specific incidents and quotations (with page references) where those issues/topics are raised so you can refer back to them. Issues (and the author’s opinions/values about each one as reflected through the plot and characters of the novel) help to build toward understanding the main themes of the novel.
A theme is a statement (not one word) of the author’s insightful opinion about life / people / society. A theme should not be a statement of the obvious. Instead it should state a debatable and interesting opinion.
Sample Theme Statements:
i. In his novel Lord of the Flies William Golding argues that the fundamental basis of humanity is based upon a “person eats person” world.
ii. Susie Hinton contends in her novel The Outsiders that serious crime and violence among youth can often be attributed to family and/or emotional troubles.
iii. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas suggests that true happiness in life does not come from material possessions but rather from the love and support of friends and family
Issues/Topics raised in the novel + the author’s opinion about each issue/value (and the values that underlie those opinions)
lead to = the novel’s themes