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The Summer of the Swans Literary Qualities

Betsy Byars
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Literary Qualities

Byars's style is simple, straightforward, and easy to read. She uses very short chapters and successfully builds suspense until the climax. She develops each character subtly through dialogue, everyday circumstances, or conflict.

Byars generally omits adults from the plots of her works so that she can explore how her adolescent characters make decisions and act on their own, away from adult influences.

In The Summer of the Swans many characters interact to reveal a change in the life of Sara. The book's third-person omniscient narrator focuses on Sara's thoughts and feelings through most of the novel. Byars increases the novel's suspense by shifting to the distraught Charlie's point of view when he becomes lost.

Byars's use of symbolism adds depth to the story. Sara feels gawky and insecure at the beginning: her big orange sneakers symbolize her assessment of herself as unattractive and odd. But by the end...

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This section contains 307 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Summer of the Swans Study Guide
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The Summer of the Swans from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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