1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read according to the elements of plot you've learned in past courses (exposition, inciting incident, etc.). Explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).
Chocolat begins with the arrival of Vianne and her young daughter to a small village in France. This village is strictly and strongly catholic where everyone goes to mass on Sundays. Vianne is the only one who decides to not go. Her resistance for the religion and her opening of a chocolate shop in the center of the town during lent set the plot as conflict unwinds between the mayor and Vianne.
2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.
Enjoy yourself! That is the theme in simple terms. What Joanne wanted to capture in her novel is the simple theme of living life for yourself and not to please people around you. What truly matters in life is your happiness. Carpe diem! ;)
3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).
The author's tone was strong to illustrate Vianne's personality as well as the overall theme. Because of the author's tone, reader's were able to capture the true depth and meaning of just how strong of a message the author was trying to get across. To illustrate this, " You don't misbehave here. It's just not done, did you know that? If you don't go to confession, if you don't... dig your flowerbeds, or if you don't pretend, if you don't pretend... that you want nothing more in your life than to serve your husband three meals a day, and give him children, and vacuum under his ass, then... then you're... then you're crazy." "Roux: I should probably warn ya: you make friends with us, you make enemies with everyone else.
Vianne Rocher: Is that a promise?
Roux: It's a guarantee."
"Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive."
4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)
setting- the small village built the stage for the close-knot town and the conflict that would result from this
tone- the author's tone of strength shown through over everything to portray the theme in an even stronger way then if she hadn't used this tone.
conflict- the conflict of Vianne's resistance to going to church like the rest of the town is what stared this whole story. Without it, there would have been no plot.
history- by combining the history of the time period, Joanne was able to add religion into the mix and emphasize how important it was at the time.
plot- the whole plot was set very well and very smoothly and made the book seem like you were actually living the story.
1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization. Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?
Vianne was both directly characterized as well as indirectly. The novel moves beyond the dialogue to introduce this complex character. It uses her thoughts to convey her complexity. The authors paints her as a very tolerant human being who cares for the well being of everyone around her regardless of how they have treated her.
Another character who was introduced both indirectly and directly was the other main character, Pere Reynaud, the mayor of the small village. He was not only characterized by his actions, but also how others spoke of him. Then he was also characterized by his internal thoughts that readers what able to read at points in the book.
Both these characters were both well known throughout the books so I feel if an author uses both indirect and direct characterization it has a larger effect on the characters as a whole in the book.
2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character? How? Example(s)?
I believe the author's syntax doesn't change because the author made all the character's equally or if not almost as equal to each other when describing them. This created a sense of importance in each character's role which let reader's feel the connection of all the character's. Because the setting was a small village where everyone knew each other, by the author using the same syntax for all character's it was almost as if I was apart of that small French village. It was a really cool feeling to be so in touch with the setting.
3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic? Flat or round? Explain.
The protagonist is dynamic. After all, the theme is about enjoying life for yourself and not others. Vianne stays true to who she is. This being said she stays dynamic throughout the novel. At times she really wanted to change and conform to how society said she should act but she didn't. That's one thing that I loved and admired about Vianne and the overall moral of the novel.
4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character? Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction.
I completely felt like I knew Vianne and Pere. As mentioned above, when using both types of characterization it really leaves a lasting impression of a character. As a reader you not only know their external appearances, actions, and thoughts but also their internal, true character as a human being. Both Pere and Vianne I felt like I truly knew.