“S.” is a story that I have greatly enjoyed reading, particularly due to how it is uniquely structured, as well as its interactive add-ons; the bits and pieces of newspapers, postcards, pictures, and letters, which served to help character development. What really interested me was the things that happened within the margins of the novel. In the novel, J.J. Abrams used a variety of literary devices to help develop, and get the reader invested into, the characters’ relationship. One literary device that I noticed was the speech and diction the author gave to his characters. Throughout The Ship of Theseus, there are notes between two characters, Jen and Eric. Unlike most books, this book doesn’t tell you who is speaking, such as “Straka asks.” Rather, you can familiarize yourself on how the characters write to each other as they have distinct personalities. The reader can see the character is straightforward and candid when Eric writes, “tripped, cut my leg open on a piece of pipe. Deep cut. Bled all over the place” (Eric). With this apathetic tone, the reader will eventually begin to associate this with Eric.However, Jen is more emotional with her writing, saying that “there’s really NO reason you can’t meet me” (Jen). The word choice helps the reader to really understand the character while also helping the reader to familiarize with them. Later in the story, they both start to use black ink, but because you’ve read this far into this book you really feel as if you know them and how they feel. You could tell the two apart, not just by their handwriting, but by how they wrote down their thoughts. Another literary device used is the allusion. Jen and Eric meet each other through the very book you read. The book itself is about a mysterious man named Straka who doesn’t know who he is, what he did in the past and is trying to figure out who he was and what he’s going to be; trying to identify himself and finding his purpose. This is reflected in Jen and Eric as they try to find out who they really are by relating themselves to this book. They constantly underline and comment on portions of the book to what they find that connects to their reality. “Stone walls and floors; of burgundy and gold rugs,(Ship of Theseus) – Have you ever been to Versailles?,” (Jen). Jen and Eric usually underlined portions of the story that had something important to them and we get to learn a lot about Jens life, a lot about Eric’s life. Furthermore, the structure of the story helps emphasize that this book is a library book that two people are talking to each other through. The way they studied the book, the way they used the book, and the things they discovered with the book. The book also came with postcards, pictures, and letters that they write to each other. Later on, as the book progresses, we learn that they start to send emails to each other and start seeing each other outside of the book. This is why the book is so interesting; it leaves out parts of the story for you to try to pinpoint and solve. The extra add-ons and amazing storytelling between Jen and Eric of this book really bring the whole story together, leaving an impactful impression. If you liked the 50-year sword by Mark Z. Danielewski, you will also find this book to be fascinating.
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