A Northern Light

Topics: A Northern Light, Chester Gillette, Writing Pages: 3 (1051 words) Published: January 16, 2012
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A Northern Light
A Northern Light is set in 1906 in upstate New York in the area called the North Woods. The Book tells about a young 16 year old girl name Mattie Gokey who is caught up in a murder as well as choosing between her family and her dreams. The author, Jennifer Donnelly, showed just how hard life was at the time and how there was little room for individual wants. Donnelly gives the reader a sense of what life was like at the time. The reader sees how important it was to work together as a family to make a living. There are many different times in the book where Mattie has to help her family. She had to pick berries as an extra source of income and miss school to help her father with the farm. In chapter two, this passage shows how important a family’s farm was and its precedence over things like school, “ I was angry with my father for keeping me home, even for a day, but he was right: He couldn’t run a sixty-acre farm alone.” (Donnelly 22) Donnelly also gives the reader an understanding of how certain technologies that seem so simple today were amazing in 1906. Miss Wilcox’s car is a great example, Mattie is afraid to ride in it because she had never been in a car before because there are few at the time and only wealthy people own them. Overall author Jennifer Donnelly does a good job showing the reader what life was like in the early 1900’s and how different it was from today. Thought A Northern Light decision after decision is thrown at Mattie. She has to make many hard choices in the book that impact her as well as others. Before to Grace Browns is killed Mattie is asked to burn letters that would later contain important information regarding her murder. Grace wants these letters burned because she was pregnant and did not want anyone to find out. However Mattie keeps the letters in case she were to change her mind, but when her body turns up in the lake she reads them out of curiosity and...
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