A Comprehensive Analysis of Nineteen Minutes, a Novel by Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes, a novel by Jodi Picoult, does an outstandingjob at displaying basic human personalities, thoughts, and consequent actions, before, during, and after a tragic circumstance The thoughts of the individual characters has increase my desire to learn more about psychology, not only because of the complexity of these thoughts, but also how they are tethered to the thoughts of all of the other individuals who reside in Sterling, New Hampshire Knowing more about how individual thoughts are produced and expressed, in my opinion, is an interesting topic, On March 6, 2007, Peter Houghton brought four guns to his school and killed ten people; nine students and one teachers The novel follows the lives of several residents of Sterling, a small town in New Hampshire where everybody knows everybody Some of the main characters are Josie Cormier, a 17 year old girl who goes to Sterling High School; Matthew Royston, a jock who is the deceased boyfriend of Josie; Peter Houghton, a kid with few friends in high school who killed ten people at his school; and Alex Cormier, the mother of Josie, and a superior court judge in Sterling While the present time in the book tells us about the events leading through Peter’s trial and eventual suicide, the author makes use of flashbacks in every other chapter in order to tell the story of how the characters’ personalities came to be and how the past events relate to what is happening in the present time.

Selfeimage is a recurring theme throughout the novel.

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Every character cares about their self»image, or how they look to other residents of Sterling The character who most obviously displays her need for a good self-image is Josie, Josie abandoned her friendship with Peter in elementary school to become friends with more “popular” students You may question why Josie decided to end her friendship with Peter, and you may come to the conclusion that she desired to be a part of the “in crowd”, even if she had to act “fake“ in front of them Alex, the mother of Josie, and a superior courtjudge in Sterling, cares about her self-image because she is a judge, and she believes that means she must keep a good self-image. Lacy, the mother of Peter, doesn‘t necessarily want a “good“ self-image as much as she wants to be seen as a normal mother who did not give birth to a killer. Since Lacy does not want he son’s reputation to ruin her work, you could group Lacy and Alex together by saying that they both care about their reputations for the success of their careers, while Josie caress about her self—image only for selfish means. Parenting is another central theme that is found throughout the novel. Alex and Lacy both care deeply about the quality of their parenting, and are always wondering about what is necessary for them to do as parents.

Alex constantly thinks about how the lines of communication between her and Josie have been slowly diminished over the past years, She copes with this by bringing back old activities that she and Josie used to do when Josie was a child Josie usually gives attitude to her mother when she says that they have not done such activities in years, which obviously makes Josie feel like her mother is trying to make her seem as if she is a child. Lacy also is plagued with the thought that she could have been a bad parent, and was the cause of the school shooting. Although her husband tells her that she could not have influenced Peter’s actions, a patient of hers did not want to have her baby delivered by Lacyt Peter Houghton questions whether he is homosexual or not throughout the book, The year before the shooting, Peter went to a gay bar, and saw a teacher from his school, Edward McCabei Peter began to question his sexual origin when Matthew Royston and other popular kids called him names such as a “homo” or “fag“ This shows that bullying can have a major affect on the mind of the bullied It shows that Peter was susceptible to verbal abuse, and that the bullying he received throughout his life undoubtedly played a part in the school shooting. “When I‘m with them,” she said, “people like me”. This quote by Josie is in response to Peter, in disbelief, asking why Josie made friends with the popular kids, You must realize that this quote is not true, it is Josie’s opinion. She believes that her new group of friends actually cares about her wellbeing, which is not true. ‘He drew his gun “I’m going in” “The hell you are That’s not protocol, “There is no fucking protocol for this,” Patrick snapped. “You can fire me later.”This passage gives us deep insight into the character of Patrick Ducharme, the detective in Sterling. Throughout the book, Det, Ducharme deals with the harsh realization that he is a detective, which means he is never in the position to prevent crimes; he cleans up after they take place, Upon arriving at the high school, Det. Ducharme did not follow protocol because he wanted to stand up and protect the children inside the school instead of cleaning up and figuring out what happened after the incidentr “’l’m not gay,” Peter repeated more firmly, and he opened the car door and ran as fast as he could towards his house.‘ At the end of the chapter where Peter goes to the gay bar to figure out if he is gay or not, Peter says “I’m not gay” to his math teacher, Edward McCabe, who he sees there. Although we do not know whether Peter is gay or not, we can assume that he believes it is possible for him to be gay, since he went to the gay bar in the first place.

This being said, this passage shows us that Peter is lying to himself and to his teacher when he said he is not gay. This could be because he is insecure about himself or, of course, that he is actually not gay, A common myth about school shootings is that the shooter must have threatened someone else. In many cases this is not the situation ‘He pulled his next punch and got to his feet, leaving Peter curled on his side like a fiddlehead, “You‘re right, why waste my time?” This passage takes place before Peter circles the pictures of Drew Girard, Matt Royston, John Eberhard, and Josie Cormierr This passage is when Peter is beaten up by Matt, and it is also the point where Peter decides he is going to kill Matt and his friends Peter never made a threat to anyone; he quietly circled their names. Another common myth is that a student has never touched a gun before. “‘Lacy grabbed the gun and pulled it away. “Where did you get this?”. This occurred twelve years before the shooting, when Josie and Peter were in kindergarten. It shows us that Peter had access to guns as a child Peter was raised in a family that condoned guns. His father, who owned two guns, hunted, his brother used guns, and Peter had easy access to his father‘s guns. The Houghton’s neighbor who was a retired police officer also kept firearms, which were later obtained by Peter and saved for the school shooting. Peter also was exposed to video games such as Grand Theft Auto which had violent and gory game play “I’ve learned you will get caught, so you have to think things out before you act.”A quote from Peter’s essay, this passage shows us that Peter knows that if he wants to get even with his schoolmates through violence, he would plan out the act beforehand Although at the time it may seem as if a school shooter had “just snapped,” if you take a brief look into the history of that person, you will see that there is behavior that would indicate violence in the future. On March 6‘“, 2007, Peter did notjust snap and happen to have four guns and a bomb in his car; he had planned that day out. I would recommend Nineteen Minutes to anyone who wishes to analyze personalities and thoughts for a psychology class or to anyone who wants to simply read a well written book that requires a bit of character analysis. It the author set out write a novel that makes people analyze things they may not have thought of, such as the borderlines of friendships, why one acts as they do, or how one would feel if they were to lose everything they cared about, then the author did accomplish her goal. Because of the deep personalities of the characters, this book leaves me with the message that there can always be two, or even more, sides to a coin.

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A Comprehensive Analysis of Nineteen Minutes, a Novel by Jodi Picoult. (2022, Jul 14). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-comprehensive-analysis-of-nineteen-minutes-a-novel-by-jodi-picoult-essay

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