Criss Cross Character Analysis

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The novel Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins exposes the everyday life of a group of teenagers in a small town, Seldem. Set in the 1960’s, Debbie along with her friends, Hector, Phil, Patty, and Lenny busy themselves with average teenager activities. They can be found at the local ice cream parlor, the Tastee-Freez, listening to the radio show, Criss Cross, together in Lenny’s rusty pickup truck, or at the town’s annual summer fair, Seldem Days. Debbie and Hector constantly analyze them self and other people as they progresses through the summer. The characters emerge into different worlds to find a sense of identity though plot development, point of view, and character development.
Perkins artfully develops Hector from a confused teen into
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The story is told in third person, but through a narrator she captures the individual personality of each character. In particular, chapter 22, the page is split into two columns. One side is focusing on Debbie’s actions, and other is focusing on Lenny’s actions. The side by side columns are simultaneous events. Debbie is in her backyard, and Lenny is on the other side of the fence in his backyard and they both refer to each other in their thoughts. The stylistic choice displays Perkins’ control of voice, because Lenny’s side has a masculine feel whereas Debbie’s side has a feminine feel. The author executes showcasing the genuine personality of each character with the one of a kind page layout of parallel events. Second, Criss Cross is amazingly artistic and stylized book. Perkins, who was trained in printmaking, brings a highly developed sense of design to the novel. Criss Cross is filled with diagrams, drawings, shifts in fonts, and shifts in point of view (one segment is even told from the point of view of a necklace). For example, Chapter 22 follows two characters through the same period of time by arranging simultaneous narratives in two columns of text. Because the characters are male and female and are reading works that are stereotypical of their genders (Popular Mechanics and Wuthering Heights, respectively), the textual parallels are matched by a metaphorical and thematic disjuncture,
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