The Passage: A Novel
Written By: Justin Cronin
In The Passage the protagonist is Amy Harper Bellafonte, also known as "The Girl From Nowhere". Amy's Mother was Jeanette Bellafonte, a girl who has a streak of many unlucky moments in her life. Eventually, Jeanette abandons Amy at a convent. Amy can be described by her innocents in the first chapter. Amy doesn't know what is going on, what her mother does at her work, why she needs to be kept alone a lot, why her Dad just suddenly appeared and cost problems, or why her Mother, in the end, just left her alone at the convent. Amy is a rather friendly person, and people, other than her mother, tend to grow tight bonds with her. For example, Lacey at the convent grew a rather tight bond with Amy, despite the rather short time they were together there. In attention to this, she formed a bond with Brad Wolgast (again, in a rather short time) and even has Brad Wolgast and Doyle try to turn themselves in to save Amy. Amy eventually gets injected with the final form of the virus. Amy needs to deal with several conflicts in the book such as, emotional conflict of her mother leaving her, the conflict of being "kidnapped" by Wolgast, and later on the conflict of having a form of the virus inside of her. Amy is not a girl who gives up easy and has fought through many harsh things in her life. For being only 6 at the start, Amy proves to be quite intelligent, more so than other people at the age of 6. For example, when Lacey asks if peter, a stuffed bear, knows anything Amy replies with, "He doesn't know anything, He's stuffed". Showing she thinks rather realistically. Another example is when she is with Wolgast in the car, he keeps asking her something around the lines of "Are you afraid?" in which eventually, Amy replies with, "Because I'm not afraid, you are." This shows that she is rather smart and was reading their body languages, listening to what they were saying, and, in a way, almost reading their minds. Amy's intelligence will prove to be helpful to her throughout the whole story. Amy also shows that she can act just like a normal girl at times, despite being quite special and unique, for example Amy ride the carousel at the amusement park, after riding the octopus a bunch of times, which was a much more intense ride. Wolgast makes the connect that Amy as a person has two sides to her, the octopus ride was for Amy's "grown up side" and the carousel for Amy's young side, the side of her that wanted her to be just a normal girl. This a conflict for Amy as she has two sides to her, and these two sides will be conflicting for her. In the end, Amy is a girl who becomes a no one to someone really special with special powers such as amazing healing, communicated telepathically and the ability communicating with animals. She is also very smart and bright and very cautious to her surroundings. She is very important, but also has a side of her who just wants to be normal, for when she is a child, and when she eventually gets older too. Amy becomes very special and important and she is, without a doubt, the protagonist of the book.
Setting and Plot Development
Setting plays an important roles in advancing and developing the plot in The Passage. The story takes place in the United States. This lets us know right at that start that many events will take place within the 50 states and that it takes place in an advanced country, meaning that people here are in contact with whats up date, more so than other places throughout the world. Chapter 2 takes place outside the United States in the jungles of Bolivia, where a team of soldiers end up extracting a disease. The setting here helps advance the story because we see events that are going on outside the United States, which is where most of the story takes place. This similar technique is used at the start of the story, where we see many different events take place within the United States in different states. We see whats all going on at each places and see how it starts to connect and come together as the plot advances. The plot also takes place in the First Colony, a place in isolation from the outside world. The plot also moves around 93 years in the future, showing a vast difference in what the world was like 93 years prior to all these, and the impact the virus and many different events had caused in the world. This dynamic change in setting proves to play a huge roles in advancing the plot line of the story as the plots gets a sudden shift in time and everything changes in the world. It moves the plot forward and skips a large part of time which was uneventful, and drastically changes what the world is like. This new setting changes the pace of the plot, and highly develops it from what the book was like at the start. This is how the setting helped advance and develop the plot of the story.
Characterization and Plot Development
Characterization plays a key role in advancing the story of the book. This starts right at the story of the book, in the first couple of opening chapters, in these chapters we get introduced to many different characters. The author makes sure to get in detail as much as they can about each character and to develop them as much as possible. The first chapters we get Amy, who we find out to be an indecent and sweet girl who knows nothing about whats going on around her. In chapter 3, we meet Carter Anthony, a man in Jail who is getting the death sentence. We learn Carter is mostly and gentle, and harmless man and doesn't exactly know what he did, or if he even did it. Everything to him is a blur, and the Author leads us on he might not be the true killer and bad guy we might intentionally think he is. We also meet Wolgast and Doyle. We learn about Wolgast more than Doyle, learning he had a child who died with his Ex-Wife, and that he hates Texas for multiple reason such "...hated the weather, which was hot as an oven one minute and freezing the next." and the look of the place. This trend of meeting and developing new characters goes on for chapters on end in this book. This helps develop the plot because we slowly start to meet most the people needed to move the story of this book. We learn in detail about each person and their thoughts and what they are like. Once we get to know all these people, the author is able to move the story onward and use these developed, fleshed out characters in the story, and we already know what they all think and act like due to the early characterization the author did in the book, meaning he doesn't need to interpret the story, to characterize a new character. This is how characterization successfully advances and develops the plot of the book.
Praise or pan
The Passage A Novel does many things well to decipher it from other books of its genre, with its unique plots and excellent use of details and imagery, the book gets you right into the world and everything that is happening. The book can be long for some, sitting at a total of 871 pages. People should not let this divert them from reading the book as it can be a good read and interesting read that makes you want to keep going. While the book is in a great state and very addicting to read, it does come with some flaws. The book starts off slow, extremely slow. This can repel some people trying to read the book and that are not able to get into it due the slow pace start. As well with this, the book's start is rather different, with the starting chapters all showing different events with different people. This is a unique element as you get introduced to all different people and start wondering to yourself; "How does all of this connect later on in the story?" While this element of the story is unique, it contributes to the slow start of the story as every early chapters starts off with a new setting and person making it hard to become connected and attached to the world and the people in the story. If you can bypass the rather slow start and become connect to the characters early on, and don't mind a semi-long read, you would love A Passage A Novel and i highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good read. With its great attention to detail and story development, this book is sure to bring you right into the story. The book is also only the first to the series, and i recommend if you like this book, to continue the series as the books are surely only to get better.