How I Live Now PresentationPresentation Transcript
HOW I LIVE NOW- Meg Rosoff http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt_aDmkEPTQ
The “Problem Novel” Refers to sub-genre of Young Adult literature that deals exclusively with an adolescent’s first confrontation with a social or personal illness/issue/problem as defined by Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_novel
Problem Novels When we discussed Cut with the guest speakers, it was mentioned that some of the class member’s “emo” students loved and/or owned the book The website www.problemnovels.wordpress.com has Problem Novel listed as a popular genre for the Emo audience. It even has a sub-heading entited “Emo Kids Rejoice.”
Problem Novels Other examples of books that are Problem Novels that we have mentioned in class: Catcher in the Rye Go Ask Alice Many Robert Cormierbooks
Problem Novel Problem Novels originated from requests for literature that dealt with fundamental Young Adult issues such as depression, suicide, eating disorders, sex, drugs, sexual orientation and peer pressure.
Problem Novel Functions of a Problem Novel:
To provide moral instruction
To address change which is something that teens go thru
To identify concerns and issues for YAs
To have a therapeutic value to Yas
To let teens know that they are not alone in their suffering
To influence them to seek help for their problem(s)
To allow teens to learn about these problems if they haven’t experienced them
To give teens the diversion of reading about other’s issues
To offer teens the opportunity to deal with issues/themes that tend to be adult concerns
How I Live Now as a Problem Novel Meg Rosoff said she liked writing for and about teens because the teen years are a very extreme time of life and that makes for intense transformations and intense possibilities for growth. She believes people find their teen years as a difficult and disturbing time, but also a time of great excitement and intensity. http://www.bookbrowse.com/biographies/index.cfm/author_number/1059/Meg-Rosoff
Evolution of the Problem Novel:Traditional vs. How I Live Now “Many of the first-person confessional narrators of the 1970s problem novel, for example, cannot resist the urge to tell the reader what they have learned.” Trites, Robert Seelinger. Disturbing the Universe – Power & Repression in Adolescent Literature. Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 2000. vs. Daisy shows us what she has learned about anorexia – she used to choose not to eat, then when she got to the point where she was starving and had no option/choice to eat, she wished she could eat. Dr. Betty Marcoux, 2004, The Information School of the University of Washington http://projects.ischool.washington.edu/elm2/ThePROBLEMNOVEL.ppt
Evolution of the Problem Novel:Traditional vs. How I Live Now Novels of development – those that end before the protagonist reaches adulthood – are sometimes seen synonymously with problem novels – the character grows as s/he faces and resolves one specific problem. Trites, Robert Seelinger, Disturbing the Universe – Power & Repression in Adolescent Literature. University of Iowa Press (2000) vs. Daisy grows as a person and gets over her anorexia, but at the same time, the book doesn’t show us any attempt to get rid of the incest problem. Also, How I Live Now is not focused on one specific problem. Dr. Betty Marcoux, 2004, The Information School of the University of Washington http://projects.ischool.washington.edu/elm2/ThePROBLEMNOVEL.ppt
Evolution of the Problem Novel:Traditional vs. How I Live Now Tends to be very strongly subject oriented, with the focus being on the condition/problem rather than on the characters. vs. The text focuses more on the development of the characters, specifically Daisy, rather than her individual problems and the problems surrounding her and her cousins. Dr. Betty Marcoux, 2004, The Information School of the University of Washington http://projects.ischool.washington.edu/elm2/ThePROBLEMNOVEL.ppt
Evolution of the Problem Novel:Traditional vs. How I Live Now Tends to be focused on a single issue or problem rather than focusing on multiple issues or problems. vs. References multiple problems: anorexia/eating disorder (Daisy), incest (Daisy/Edmond), cutting (Edmond), and the war (Daisy and her cousins) Dr. Betty Marcoux, 2004, The Information School of the University of Washington http://projects.ischool.washington.edu/elm2/ThePROBLEMNOVEL.ppt
Evolution of the Problem Novel:Traditional vs. How I Live Now Interest primarily resides in the topic (problem) rather than in telling the story. vs. Story is definitely more focused on relationships between characters rather than on their various issues/problems. Dr. Betty Marcoux, 2004, The Information School of the University of Washington http://projects.ischool.washington.edu/elm2/ThePROBLEMNOVEL.ppt
Evolution of the Problem Novel:Traditional vs. How I Live Now Often ends with problem being solved/fixed. vs. Issues of cutting, anorexia, incest, etc. are never fully dealt with. Dr. Betty Marcoux, 2004, The Information School of the University of Washington http://projects.ischool.washington.edu/elm2/ThePROBLEMNOVEL.ppt
Anorexia Nervosa To be diagnosed as having anorexia nervosa, according to the DSM-IV-TR, a person must display: Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height : Weight loss leading to maintenance of body weight <85% of that expected or failure to make expected weight gain during period of growth, leading to body weight less than 85% of that expected. Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though under weight. Disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight. The absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles (amenorrhea) in women who have had their first menstrual period but have not yet gone through menopause (postmenarcheal, premenopausal females). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_nervosa
Daisy’s Anorexia One of the major problems in How I Live Now is Daisy’s anorexia. When did we first discover that this was a problem for her? Daisy’s Quotes (page 1 of the handout) AUDIO
Daisy’s Anorexia Typically in a problem novel, the problem is addressed early on in the story and the remainder of the novel is about solving said problem. How does the revelation of Daisy’s problem with anorexia differ from the typical problem novel? Do we have a clear view of the problem itself? What indications, if any, do we have that an attempt to solve the problem is in place?
Daisy vs. Callie vs. With the person next to you, compare the introduction of Daisy’s battle with anorexia to the introduction of Callie’s battle with cutting in Cut.
Daisy’s Anorexia Also typical of the problem novel is the focus on solving the problem. How does the author choose to reveal the solution to this particular problem? Daisy’s Quotes (page 2 of the handout) AUDIO
Daisy vs. Callie vs. A problem novel is typically focused on solving the problem throughout the book. Again with the person sitting next to you, compare the solution aspect of Daisy’s anorexia with that of Callie’s cutting.
Daisy’s Anorexia as a “Problem” According to the functions and characteristics of a problem novel, and in regards to the anorexia, where does How I Live Now represent a problem novel and where does it become an evolution of the problem novel?
INCEST Any sexual activity between closely related persons (often within the immediate family) that is illegal (legal penalties imposed in some jurisdictions) or a social taboo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Famous Cousin/Cousin Relationships Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen Elizabeth Bennett’s cousin, clergyman Mr. Collins, proposes marriage to her, and her mother is supportive of the potential union
INCEST Different cultures and jurisdictions have different terms for what type of sexual activity and nature of relationship constitutes a breach of law or social taboo
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Famous Cousin/Cousin Relationships Gone With the Wind Scarlett wants Ashley, but he is to marry his cousin, Melanie
INCEST Some societies consider it to include only those who live in the same household; other societies consider it to include "blood relatives”
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Famous Cousin/Cousin Relationships Edgar Allen Poe married his cousin, Virginia Clemm H.G. Wells married his first cousin, Isabel Mary Wells
Daisy and Edmond First cousins – mothers were sisters Never met each other before No parental/adult supervision No schedule or routine Freedom to do whatever they wanted All cousins have a unique relationship with each other
Find quotes from the book that support the following: Daisy knows that her feelings are wrong/taboo At the same time, they continue to go on doing it They first act on their feelings Their interactions are described as very sexual In the end, they are together based on love
What is War? War is described as a reciprocated, armed conflict, between two or more non-congruous entities, aimed at reorganizing a subjectively designed, geo-politically desired result.
War Within War Daisy vs. Family Daisy vs. Daisy Do you believe that the War that Daisy is fighting is self inflicted? Is there any evidence that supports or rejects this notion?
Problems of War What are some of the basic problems of War throughout this novel? Separation of Families Murder Starvation/Rationing PTSD Power Struggles/Power shifts
The Author’s Take on War How does knowing the author’s view on war affect your reading of this text?
Problem v. Power Do the characters gain power through the problems they encounter?
Characters with Problems Piper Edmond and Isaac Edmond Daisy
How Do the Problems Lead to Empowerment Piper grows up with out a mother and is forced to endure a war without the support system she’s had at nine years old. How is this a problem that gives her power and strength? Edmond and Isaac have a shift in power. Initially, Edmond is the dominant twin and Isaac stands in the distance, all the while observing. How does the power shift between Isaac and Edmond?
How do the Problems lead to Empowerment? When Daisy returns to England six years later, Edmond has changed from the boy she knew and loved previously. Daisy notices cuts, both old and fresh, on Edmond’s arms. Is Edmond’s cutting a problem or does it give him power?
How do the Problems lead to Empowerment Daisy doesn’t eat as an act of rebellion toward her father, stepmother and future sibling. She is sent to England and finds herself in the midst of WWIII. She admits that she likes to feel hungry. During the invasion, eating is no longer a luxury and becomes a necessity to her. How does Daisy’s unwillingness to eat change and become a tool to strengthen and empower her as the story progresses?