Colson Whitehead Writing Styles in The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead
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Point of View

The novel is written in the past tense and the limited third person. Elwood is the protagonist and point-of-view character, meaning the narrational perspective is limited to Elwood’s thoughts, emotions, observations, and experiences. His initial character development is in part a product of the development of his perspective, specifically regarding both personal and sociopolitical matters. In his early teenage years, he develops an active interest in the Civil Rights Movement, which is in full momentum at the time. His active interest and participation the Civil Rights Movement, along with his studious self-application in school, portends a bright and virtuous future for Elwood. However, the introduction of the Nickel School causes deep, tragic disruptions to his personal trajectory.

During Elwood’s time at the Nickel School, his perspective is informed by firsthand and vicarious experiences of the atrocities there, which inform the novel’s overall...

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This section contains 765 words
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Buy The Nickel Boys Study Guide
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