In our last Reading Circle Discussion, we reflected on the main characters in our novels. We used the STEAL acronym to describe the protagonist and antagonist of our novels. I’m reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, and in my case, the protagonist is Oskar, who is an incredibly determined 9 year-old boy. I mentioned that he sees the world differently than most people do. This related to Dominick’s protagonist of his novel, who is Percy Jackson. In his story, he sees what adults don’t. We also were asked to talk about the antagonists of our novels, which are traditionally also characters, but in my book, I think the antagonist is the horrific event of 9/11 that claimed Oskar’s father’s life. I see the event itself as the villain. This makes the characters of my book very different than the rest of the characters in other novels.
The protagonists in all four of our novels had something in common. They worked towards a goal, had weaknesses that they overcame, and stay strong through any struggles. These characteristics make us feel for the characters in a way that makes them connectable.
As far as linking characters to society, the adventure heroes in Dominick and David’s novels, they show the classic “good conquers evil” plot and aren’t always very relatable. Emily’s book is about day to day life for a high school girl, which at times, can be extremely close to what is going on in our own lives. Her main character represents each one of us. For me, Oskar in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close represents the time in every child’s life after they lose a loved one, especially in a terrible way like 9/11.
Over our last discussion, we have gotten more comfortable with each other, but I think to achieve the goal of finding out just what type of reader they are will take a little more time to figure out. Discussing specific characters have helped us connect to eachother. I hope we continue to open up and interact with each other in order to accomplish this.