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At The Start Of The Novel Essay

  • Submitted by: sandraperkins
  • on October 28, 2010
  • Category: English
  • Length: 476 words

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Below is an essay on "At The Start Of The Novel" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

At the start of the novel, “The Hummingbird Tree”, Alan, the hero of the novel, and his foil Kaiser, are seen enjoying the great outdoors.   The woods which they explore regularly, becomes their escape and their sanctuary away from the depressing poverty of kaiser’s home environment and the rigid societal rules which the wealthy and privileged Caucasian teenager must conform to.   In their garden of Eden, Kaiser is obviously the dominant one.   He masterfully manipulates his surroundings as well as the naïve Alan who is an innocent when it comes to the secrets of the rural landscape of Trinidad.   In every instant, Kaiser is obviously the hero and Alan is his disciple.

The first instance of Kaiser’s superiority and dominance is his obvious knowledge of the flora and fauna that exists in the forests around his village.   It can be argued that Kaiser’s young life has been characterized by poverty and a general struggle to survive unlike the privileged and pampered Alan.   The woods become his source not only of enjoyment but survival.   This seems to create within Kaiser a certain measure of confidence as well as a hardness of character.   This callousness is seen in his need to play a prank on Alan who wants for nothing and has never experienced suffering.   The incident with the hogplums is one such occurrence where Kaiser has fun at Alan’s expense by tricking him into thinking that the attractive golden plums which litter the ground are sweet and delicious.   Alan eagerly accepts the proffered “gift” and is horrified at their acid and awful taste.   They are indeed not fit for human consumption which Kaiser knew but Alan did not and is humiliated.(insert quote)

Kaiser’s familiarity with the forest is seen in his superb baiting and capture of the beautiful and elusive butterflies.   He again enjoys his chance to impress and show off his skill to Alan in the only area where perhaps he can be a master and not a servant.   While Alan fails miserably to catch the...

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