Bee Season Analysis

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  • Topic: Spelling bee, Bee Season, Scripps National Spelling Bee
  • Pages : 7 (2932 words )
  • Download(s) : 2652
  • Published : September 25, 2006
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Form/Structure, Plot
Bee Season is organized in chronological order, which helps the reader to understand the complex series of events that Eliza Naumann and her family encounter. The form of the novel does not include any chapter breaks, only breaks that transition the point of view or a major elapse of time. This is interesting because instead of separating events like chapter breaks normally do, the book is separated by characters, showing more emphasis towards character development. There are multiple plots in the novel, the main one being Eliza's journey through the spelling bees and eventually through Jewish mysticism and her growth as an individual. However, there area also three lesser plots, which are Aaron's spiritual investigation for a religion that spiritually satisfies him more than Judaism; Miriam's struggle with kleptomania and her relationship with Saul; Saul's attempts at understanding and relating to his entire family instead of only one person. Bee Season begins with a description of Eliza as a mediocre student "from whom great things should not be expected" (1) and then proceeds to her class spelling bee, which she easily wins. She is then able to go to the school bee, which she also easily wins, and proceeds on to the district bee. When Saul, her father, realizes that Eliza has such a strong unique talent, he begins to study with her. These study sessions that Saul now devotes to Eliza used to belong to Aaron, Eliza's brother. Aaron begins to become spiritually dissatisfied with Judaism and begins to explore the Eastern religions until he meets a man named Chali and participates in Hinduism. As Saul's and Eliza's study sessions continue Eliza wins at the district bee and wins a spot in the state bee, which she also wins. Miriam and Saul attempt to patch their marriage back together even though they rarely spend any time together. Miriam's kleptomania and habit of sneaking into empty houses has finally gone too far and she vows to stop, which she does successfully. As the family begins to fall apart Saul begins to show Eliza more and more about Jewish mysticism, and Eliza begins to study the letters and the patterns of words instead of just the spellings themselves. At the national bee Eliza survives the first day, but is "dinged out" on the word "duvetyn", eliminating her from that year's competition. In the intervening time between the national bee and the beginning of the next "Bee season" Eliza and Saul continue to study the words and the Jewish mysticism, and Aaron decides to tell his father about his change of faith, causing a massive argument, resulting in Aaron's leaving the house for the temple. At the next school spelling bee Eliza purposely misspells "origami", resulting in her loss of the competition and forfeiture of another chance for the National Spelling Bee. Point Of View/Perspective

Most of the story is told to the reader from the view of Eliza Naumann, but quite a bit, especially later in the story, is from the points of view and Eliza's father, Saul; her mother, Miriam; and Eliza's brother, Aaron. All of these view points are related in third-person. Out of the four, Eliza's is the most interpretive and descriptive point of view, while Miriam's is much more philosophical. This is important because it reinforces to the reader that Miriam's main concerns are about her philosophical approach to life, and that Eliza is mostly concerned with still learning more about the world around her and finding basic meaning in it. All four of the viewpoints are highly reliable and direct for characterization and situational description. The perspective shifts are quite numerous and seem to locate the most important character at that time, typically being Eliza, the natural protagonist. The narrator is omniscient in the characters' thoughts and informs the reader of most major aspects of the story, while dialogue is informative enough for the rest of the necessary information. With these frequent...
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