Novel Study: A Variety Of Language Features, Conventions And Stylistic Features

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 “To what extent does Markus Zusak, in his novel The Messenger, effectively utilize a variety of language features, conventions, and stylistic features in order to explore Ed Kennedy’s transition from a misguided youth into a mature and purposeful adult?”

“The Messenger” novel by Markus Zusak was first published in 2002. The author uses a variety of language and stylish features to outline Ed’s transition from a youth stage to becoming a man to a high extent. Ed Kennedy is the main protagonist is an underage taxi driver is a misguided youth who doesn’t think about the consequences of his actions whilst also having no life goals. Ed experiences this transition in his mental growth and perception throughout the novel from his lack of relationship with his Mum (Bev Kennedy), the relationship with Audrey, through the assignments and many other aspects that will be identified in this novel response.

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The story revolves around the main protagonist named Ed Kennedy where he goes through series of experiences that changes and perceptions. Firstly, Ed is an average young misguided youth who eagerly helps people in need. This helpfulness of his makes him change lives of others and himself from an unknown source exposing Ed to aces from a deck a of cards. The cards are seen as assignments or clues for Ed and as he likes helping people, he goes to the addresses the cards indicate. This tell the audience that Ed is looking for a change in his average life where he is an ordinary cab driver and hangs out with his three friends Audrey, Marv and Ritchie playing cards. The reason of this possible due to the relationship he has with his mum in which she thinks that Ed is an underachiever and will go nowhere in life. Therefore, due to this mind ed has he tries to as much as possible so he can have change in his lifestyle. Back to the mysterious card with addresses Ed decides to go to the addresses where he discovers other individuals lives that he indulges to correct. From the series of decision-making, he goes through shows that he is doing this on his own will even if some mysterious figure is guiding him to an extent that transforms his perceptions and nature.

A stylistic feature that the author uses with card is for once symbolism of the Aces however the author also uses the set of three continuously or repeatedly for every clue. This can be seen in the first card where he has three addresses, also in the Ace of Clubs in which a clue contains a place where he goes to find three names. The Ace of Spades contains three names of authors and The Ace of Heart has clue of three movie titles. Which the titles lead him to his three friends. Therefore, from this it can be seen that three has been used quite a lot. The author could possibly have done for the audience because three sets of information is not a large number that it is difficult to process however still seems to pursue a large amount of details with that number. Basically, according to writing techniques, the principle of there is more satisfying and effective than other numbers. This links back to the clues Ed gets and goes by fate to give a change to others experiences whilst also developing himself.

There are a lot of different themes that can be identified from the novel. Consisting of Choice, Heroism and Hope. These themes can be seen throughout the events he experiences. For example, from the Aces. The cards give clues to Ed in which he has a choice where he fulfils the mission. From the experiences he deals with playing cards and helping out the individuals, Ed understands that cannot control what happens in his life however still take action on the events that occur. Therefore, make his own choice for the experiences he goes through.

Heroism is also an important theme that revolves around the novel within the protagonist and also the author. Eds initial beliefs in heroic acts are completely different to what he thinks his extent of executions is. This can be seen when he fantasies the media fame, he would have got from the failed bank robbery however his thinking was that they would call him a weak and a deadbeat person not being desirable to a heroic figure. This mentality of his sees himself as an average person even after he changes lives of people or stops crimes from happening. The mental growth can be seen to the extent when he goes through the missions of him helping others which develops his way of a heroic figure. The development links to the question of him transitioning to a mature adult as he discovers the capabilities of his actions and his development throughout the tasks.

Another theme that can be recognized from the novel would be the theme of hope. This is because the novel revolves around how the author brings opportunities to the protagonist in order to change his way of perception. The hope for Ed comes from the cards as he completes the mission and understands that everyone has the capability to change the way of their life. This can be seen changing lives of people for instance the track runner, or the woman with the disease and even with brothers. That he goes to high extents to change their lifestyle. This allow Ed to understand that there is always hope in all scenarios and is dependent on the result from the action conducted by them themselves. Even if something turns out in a bad manner the individual has tried to take the situation in hand to change the outcome or procedure. Markus Zusak uses these stylistic features to pursue the audience of the themes and the meaning behind them for improvement or development for oneself.


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