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Night of the Whale Literary Qualities

This Study Guide consists of approximately 11 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Night of the Whale.
This section contains 382 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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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...

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This section contains 382 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Night of the Whale Short Guide
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