Book TalkSynopsis Of TextFor my ISU I chose the book Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, as I thought it would be the right one for me. This story takes place in Omaha, Nebraska around 1983 in the month of April. As the book opens, we learn immediately from the perspective of Park, that he has lost someone named Eleanor. From that point we rewind to the beginning of the school year where everything had started. Park Sheridan, a half-korean teen boy, in the town of Omaha, Nebraska, feels like an outsider in multiple ways. One, he likes comic books, two he’s obsessed with music, and three, he does not have a lot of friends. This all changes one morning, as he sees Eleanor Douglas sit next to him on the bus, for he realizes that he must not be as much of an outsider as she is.
Chubby, with flashing red hair, and having the habit of dressing in men’s clothes, Eleanor Douglas, a colossal bully target for those in her high school. As they dive into a unplanned, first love, their lives begin to fall apart. Soon, it is not their own job to keep themselves together, but each others.2. Biographical Background The author of this novel, Rainbow Rowell, sometimes writes about adults, and sometimes about teenagers. But she always writes about people who talk a lot, people who feel like they’re screwing up, and people who fall in love. When she is not writing, she spends her time reading comic books, and arguing about things that don’t really matter. She also lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.
Rainbow had always wanted to write a first love story, and so she did. Quote “There’s a built-in tragedy to falling (truly) in love when you’re 16. It’s like every 16-year-old in love is either Romeo or Juliet. That is what I wanted to write about.” 3.
Personal Criticism In my opinion I liked this story, although it did come with a few doubts. This relationship inclined extremely quick, as it was very instant-love, alike the play Romeo and Juliet. The book kept on sharing loads and loads of silent moments, and it felt at times as if the plot was not progressing. In contrast, I loved the writing style. The way Rainbow Rowell switched between the two perspectives and the way she uses imagery, really made me understand the book more. Switching between both perspectives of Eleanor and Park, brought me into the mind of each of them, and I knew at all times who was thinking and feeling what.
Although this book may not seem like reality, that’s also why I like it. It is different from a typical romance book, with usually a happy ending. I think this book went straight to the point at the end, and did not end on a positive note in my opinion.4. Significance Of the Texts themes and Subject MatterNo matter what, where you go to high school, appearance is always something teens struggle with. Social status can sometimes be determined on looks alone, and that’s something both Eleanor and Park experience. Eleanor’s immediately shunned because of how she looks, and Park’s friends never fail to remind him that he doesn’t look like anyone else in Omaha.
On the other hand, Eleanor and Park both express themselves through clothing. This tells us a lot about the characters through Eleanors colourful fashion sense and in Parks case makeup. Also, as soon as I began to read this book, and also by just looking at it I could automatically tell it was going to be mainly about love. But it’s more than that. It’s mainly about first love, and what it’s like to fall for someone. It shows us that our first love, really isn’t there, and it’s just for fun.
This story interprets the thought of love at first sight, and makes us question what it truly means to have a connection with another. Considering this the theme of appearance and love are the main themes of the story.5.
Relevant Connection with other works or personal experience Eleanor and Park is the tale of two teenage outsiders who fall in love and are “tragically” torn away from each other in the end. This plotline is doubtlessly equivalent to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, for the fast-pace love and the tragedy in the end. Now tragic may be a bit of an exaggeration for Eleanor and Park, but to them if feels as if it truly is. It would be hard to deny the connection between the two stories, considering the fact that “Romeo and Juliet” is mentioned in “Eleanor and Park” many times. The lovers in Eleanor and Park have peer pressure to overcome, just as Romeo and Juliet had family feud as their obstacle.
Park somewhat cool and popular, but Eleanor is the weird red-headed girl being bullied on a daily basis. Eleanor and Park are unwilling to let others know that they are dating, because they are afraid of what their friends would think, just like Romeo and Juliet’s situation with their families.