Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

1109 Words5 Pages
In the fiction novel of Nineteen minutes a tragic school shooting occurs, amongst the confusion and blame fuelled mostly by the media, the author, Jodi Picoult attempts to bring together the complex web of society to help us understand why these incidents happen again and again. The idea of blame is a major theme in this novel and is used cunningly to shift responsibility from the media, Peter, music genres and sub-cultures and even onto Peter’s mother Lacy herself. The author uses flashbacks and ………. Another theme is the way Peter Houghton is psychologically profiled and in the way we are positioned to feel sympathy for him and to even almost forgive him through the use of ….. this is accurate but also unaccurate. This novel also asks the question, what does it mean to be different from everyone else? This comes out in Peter as he is always tormented for being different and also in Josie who almost hates herself for not being real. A final theme in the book is the idea of hiding behind facades and failed relationships, for example the relationship between Josie and her mother is so false but neither one of them is willing to acknowledge they hardly even know each other anymore. In the novel the idea of the media is partly blamed for fuelling the panic. The author in this case is trying to test the idea of blame and the security it brings within her characters in the novel. "The media - a wave as unwelcome as a tsunami." This quote shows that in this small town something on such a large or violent scale has never happened before. It is showing that the ‘small town’ mentality was still around and was broken in part by the media, but also ripped apart by Peter’s actions. The idea of blame is continued in the novel as the media yet again determines who should be held responsible, "In addition there is evidence that Peter was a fan of the hard core death metal
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