Night of the Whale Literary Qualities

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In Night of the Whale Spinelli uses many of the attributes of great literature, but he uses them in a superficial, often simplistic way. In a sense, the novel is what religious scholar Joseph Campbell calls a monomythic adventure: It is a kind of traditional hero quest in which a hero ventures forth into a wilderness, usually one with supernatural attributes, encounters marvelous adventures and challenges, often involving slaying a dragon, and returns home a hero, having saved his culture. In the course of his adventures, the hero usually grows considerably. In this novel, however, the adventurers try to save rather than destroy the monstrous beasts they meet —whales, not dragons, although it is interesting that when they first see them, they mistake them for sharks.

The theme of initiation also is central to Night of the Whale. Mouse is especially interested in undergoing a successful initiation...

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This section contains 382 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Night of the Whale Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Night of the Whale from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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