Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
Essay #3: Black Swan Green Essay
Identify a theme in Black Swan Green, and write an essay that explores how Mitchell addresses this theme. Link the literary devices Mitchell uses with a larger message of the book.
The overarching theme of this book is “innocence to experience,” making it a coming of age story or a bildungsroman. As with real life, the protagonist Jason Taylor must overcome complex obstacles in order to thrive. Jason’s obstacles are primarily with his social life, although he faces a significant upheaval in his family life as well. For the most part, Jason handles himself well in the face of his troubles. His victory over the bullies in his life at the end of the book does not signal the end of all his problems, however. Jason is moving on to a new town and a new school and will have to start climbing the social ladder all over again. Yet the experience about life that Jason gains in the book will serve him well for whatever the future holds.
Theme is more than just a topic like “guilt,” “death,” “youth,” “growing up,” etc. Try to phrase a complete sentence. See the Norton chapter on theme. A theme of Hawthorne’s story “Birth Mark,” for example is “We too often destroy the very thing we love by trying to turn the good into the perfect.”
Keep writing good PIE paragraphs that use specific detail as the basis for your analysis.
There is no restriction on what kinds of evidence you use from the book, but take advantage of the work we have done on plotting (think about the structure of the book…), point of view (Jason’s narration…), character (his evolution, the direct and indirect characterization of Jason and others), setting (what do we learn about the town, how does Jason’s representation of the settings evolve?), etc.
1500-2000 words. Note that there is both a minimum and a maximum.
An introduction, a conclusion, and several body paragraphs logically organized
Strong, clear, arguable thesis.
Paragraphs that mix summary, paraphrase, quotations, and analysis.
Correct grammar and spelling
Correct MLA formatting, including double spacing, correct page format, citations, a list of works cited. See Module 5.5