The Shack Book Analysis

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Journal # 1: Three Active Reading Strategies

Not everyone can say that they have had an active conversation with God. This quarter, I have been reading WM. Paul Young’s novel, The Shack, and I am on page 85. Mack Phillips can say that he has had a talk with God or, “Papa,” like what the Phillips family refers to him as. The conversation might not have been as cheery as you might have hoped. Mack Phillip’s 5-year-old daughter was kidnapped and presumably murdered during a family camping trip. A few weeks after her disappearance, a bloodstained dress belonging to his daughter had been found in an abandoned shack in the wilderness in the middle of nowhere. Four years go by until Mack receives a note signed by God himself that invited Mack back
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The amount of detail that the author goes into in order to perfectly describe a scene is amazing. A good example of the descriptive terms used by WM. Paul Young is when Mack is first returning to the forest. “ The trail was treacherous, the rocks icy and slippery. Every step took concentration as he descended into the thickening forest. It was eerily quiet.” (Page 78 WM. Paul Young) In that passage, I picture Mack cautiously walking down into a valley with adroit foot placement. I see a very narrow path with loose rock and tree roots growing within the path like I have seen on my own hikes in the Montana wilderness. Also, there are snow covered tree branches and patches of snow and ice on the path every now and then. Another spot in the book is when he starts to leave the shack before everything changes. “The snowbanks had vanished, and summer wildflowers began to color the borders of the trail and the forest as far as he could see. Robins and finches darted after one another among the trees.” (Page 82 WM. Paul Young) The reader can even feel the warm air rush upon them immediately after reading this excerpt from the book. I think the author did a great job creating imagery within the different scenes.
In conclusion, The Shack is a book for which it is easy to visualize and question various portions of Mack’s journey to strengthen his faith and relationship with God. I look forward to finishing the book and figuring out what happens when he leaves. I give myself a 9.5/10 because this isn’t my best writing but I think that I still did very well on Journal
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