Listen to JP… http://www.jodipicoult.com/podcasts-feeds.html
Narrative… First person point of view= uses first person personal pronouns. N N A A B B C C
Multiple narrators… One striking feature of My Sister's Keeper is the way Picoult uses multiple first−person narrators to tell the story. A first−person point of view tells the story from one character's perspective in his or her own voice. Each section in the novel is made up of parts designated by the name of the character whose voice and perspective is being revealed. Picoult emphasizes the differences in these voices through the use of different fonts for different characters. o The use of multiple voices allows readers the ability to understand the situations from different standpoints. The way Sara sees Kate's cancer and Anna's lawsuit is quite different from Anna's viewpoint, Jesse's position, and Campbell's and Julia's judgment..
What it looks like… (except for Kate’s limited narration) Kate Illnes s Sar a Brian Jess Ann a Juli a Campbell
Continued… Consider what this technique allows readers to experience. Everyone in the family despairs about Kate's illness and Anna's lawsuit, but they have different perspectives. o The reader sees Campbell and Julia's thoughts on the lawsuit and also their feelings about each other. o By viewing Anna's thoughts, the reader can see she does not take her decision to sue her parents lightly and that she is smart and perceptive. o Jesse seems like an unlikable person, but his thoughts and actions show his pain over Kate's illness and his helplessness.
The reader sees Sara's desperation to heal Kate at all costs and the epiphany she has during the hearing. Brian's conflict over supporting his children when the family is in a divisive crisis. Campbell's tough side as a lawyer and softer side with Julia and his growing friendship with Anna. o (Because of the mystery of the guide dog, the reader wonders what Campbell's medical problem is.) Julia is able to see the Fitzgeralds objectively, so the reader gets an unbiased stranger's view. After the intertwining of the character's viewpoints, the chapter from Kate's point of view is surprising and enlightening. Up until her chapter, she was always a character seen by everyone else.
Structure There is a prologue with a quote and then a short passage by an unknown narrator. The chapters are not numbered. They are titled by the character's names. The sections are started by a day of the week and a passage. Sara's chapters are flashbacks titled by years until her chapter called Present Day where she joins the present. o She begins with Kate's diagnosis and goes through the milestones of Kate's illness. Campbell and Julia's chapters are in the present, but they have flashbacks to their time together in high school. There is an epilogue by Kate set in a time in the future.
The plot zigzags back and forth between the present and the past; it depends on the speaker. The book chronicles the events of the Fitzgerald family out of order mainly after Kate's diagnosis: Anna's birth; Anna's donations; Anna, Kate, and Jesse's childhoods; and the hearing and its aftermath. Campbell and Julia's professional and personal stories and sections of the past about their teen relationship are mixed in.
Flashback/flash-forward Several characters use flashbacks and flash−forwards as part of their narratives. Flashbacks look back in time, while flash−forwards describe future events. In the epilogue, Kate describes what happens after Anna's death. Most of Sara's chapters present flashbacks. In each chapter, she primarily describes Kate's illnesses and treatments, but she also includes some information about her family. o She begins with when Kate was diagnosed with cancer, then goes through each relapse, until she reaches present day and the court case. These flashbacks show Sara's increasing tension and desperation to keep Kate alive.
Campbell also incorporates flashbacks in his sections. o When describing his teenage relationship with Julia, his flashbacks are set in italics. o In these memories, Campbell describes how the relationship got started, what kind of people he and Julia were as teens, and important events in their romance. The flashbacks emphasize the importance of the relationship for Campbell, while underscoring how remote it is in his everyday life.
Heroes and anti-hero A hero is a primary character that displays commendable traits such as courage and integrity. Anti−heroes have the reader's sympathy despite their flaws, and while not villains, see themselves as social outcasts, distrust the world, feel helpless, and lack courage and integrity. Picoult contrasts the actions of heroes with those of anti−heroes.
HeroAnti-hero Anna- gives Kate what she wants. Jess- defines himself by his rebellious acts. Supports Anna’s lawsuit. o Though he does some good things, most of his time and energy is spent in self−destructive, self−serving acts. Campbell- takes Anna’s case because it will bring him publicity. Dishonest about who he is. Keeps the world at a distance. o Feels his epilepsy is a weakness/ flaw.