Novel Summary Sheet ~Quartering the Text ~
Your name: Sarah Tayler Novel Name: Girlfriend in a Coma
Quarter # 2 Author’s last name: Coupland
1. Skeletal plot(Point form only- keep this short but insightful):
1.–Karen is inevitably starred in a T.V. Interview, where she goes into a daze and foretells the oncoming apocalypse. When Richard has to go on a business trip on her foretold date they have a fight about whether or not he should go and she refuses to tell him why.
2.– The world starts falling asleep, taking everybody but Richard, Karen, Pam, Linus, Megan, Wendy and Hamilton. Vancouver riots, like everywhere else in the world, burning, pillaging, killing, bombing, whatever. The group all meets at Rabbit lane, Karen's house, and Wendy encounters Jared's ghost who leads her, lost, to the house after he accidentally scares the hell out of Karen.
3.– Karen and company use her visions to find out what's happening, both in the present and the future. They move to her grandparents ranch in the mountains and there Karen witnesses the last person to die of the plague through her visions and they are all that's left.
4.– A year later, It becomes Jared's story. He gives the friends and Megan's daughter, Jane, a quick visit and disappears, having sex with the floor on his way to where ever. He later comes back and converses with Karen about her first views of the world from when she woke up.
5.– Through visits to each one, Jared gives the friends a miracle. Karen's legs are whole again. He gets Wendy pregnant. Cures Jane's blindness for Megan and her daughter. Gives Linus a brief glance at heaven that makes him blind for a week. Erases Hamilton and Pam's drug addictions and fixes their brains.
Conflict or “tension” eg person vs person, or (internal) person vs self; Is this important to the novel’s theme or purpose? Yes.
Explanation: Conflicts include the group vs the plague (Nature) where they battle their fears to survive, and Karen vs Society as her opinion comes into conflict with what people expect.
2. Setting (Where & where does various parts of your novel take place-how are these places important to the character or the theme of your work?): Still set mainly in Vancouver, the characters travel all around the city to socialize until the plague hits. Once the sleeping begins Karen and company all converge on her Rabbit Lane home to wait out the deaths. A year later they invade all sorts of places in Vancouver, but there's a sense of isolation, even when they're together.
3.Characters (Know your character types and why this is important to your novel! (Eg. Are they round/flat-why?/static/dynamic-why?) How many characters do you meet in this quarter or do you find more about their personalities?):
1) Karen: Round / Dynamic – as the foretold date of the apocalypse approaches she becomes very anxious and troubles arise between her and Richard.
2) Richard: Round / Dynamic – Richard becomes...responsible at his job. And humble. And he's the one person who tries to remain civil after the world ends.
3) Megan: Round / Dynamic – Megan changes from a messed up girl stuck with her druggy boyfriend to a independent mother who realises how she took life for granted.
6) Hamilton: Round / Dynamic – Hamilton doesn't get any better. He's a permanently wasted loser, even after the apocalypse. Thank God Jared performs his miracle and cures his mind of the addiction.
7) Pam: Round Dynamic – She started to improve after Karen woke up, but after the apocalypse slips back into addiction with Hamilton until she's virtually reborn with Hamilton as a clear headed human being.
8) Linus: Round / Dynamic – He's still desperately searching for meaning and experiencing all the wonderful things he can. It becomes more intense after the apocalypse, wondering what they're supposed to do. Given a sight of heaven, Linus becomes blissful.
9) Wendy: Round / Dynamic – Her love for Jared becomes more intense, and she acknowledges that she's extremely lonely. Her lonesomeness is filled by Jared who gives her a baby.
4.Point Of View~ Circle one!: Omniscient
§ Whydo you think the writer chose this point of view to develop plotcharacter or themes?
Because Jared is a know-it-all ghost and it also gives the important thoughts of the group and what they're thinking during this apocalypse. Jared is kind of like God.
5.Notables on writer’s style and structure!
§ Are there similes or metaphors? Record a quote: “A throw rug caught on her numb senseless legs like sacks of potatoes strapped onto her waist.”
§ Visual or other imagery? Record a quote: “Richard can see the plumes of smoke of several fires and patches of the city with failed electrical grids.”
§ Is there unusual vocabulary or diction? Record a quote: ”All the people we've ever known, think Richard and Megan, the best-looking girl in high school; favorite movie stars; old friends; lighthouse keepers and lab technicians. Am-scrayed.”
§ Is the novel structured with a particular idea? Record a quote or explain: “This is the moment she's been waiting for a dreading. Now it's here.” The apocalypse comes, and it involves a lot of paranoia about sleeping and the plague. Humanity goes chaotic.
§ Ist here dialogue & is it realistic? Record a quote: “Why'd you do that, Meg?”
“For being too weak to cry like a real human being.”
“Oh honey. . .”
6. Themes: Record words and topics related to themes contained and developed in your novel:
· “There was a real debate about whether they should let you land or let your fuel run out over the mountains.”
· “It's like those cartoons of guys with long beards holding a sign on a street corner saying THE END IS NEAR; there's always a little part of yoyu that wonders, what if?”
· “There is a light withing us all—a light brighter than the sun, a light inside the mind. He had forgotten this and now he remembers, there on the balcony..”
· “She had a daughter, Jane, born blind and brain defective—probably because of all the crap in the air these days—and she simply assumed that's the way life should be.”
Personal Response to this quarter: what you thought or felt, related to, did not relate to; how universal is the experience that your protagonist goes through?
I thought that it sucks that we can't believe in omens and supernatural things anymore. Despite reading Karen's eerie letter years ago, and knowing about the freaky fortune telling, Richard can't accept Karen's warning and stay home. I felt that Karen was right, waking up and seeing everyone so busy and striving towards nothing besides efficiency. I can relate to that view sometimes. Karen's experience I think is pretty odd though. I'm not sure if people would universally react the same way or if she's a special chosen case. I liked her as a teenager.