’s Song: Protagonist & Antagonist Essay, Research Paper
Dicey’s Song takes place in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. The setting helps with the mood of the story. The mood is relaxed and calm. This novel’s point of view is third person (he, she, they, and them).
The protagonist of the story is Dicey Tillerman. Dicey is the “hero” of this story. Dicey is very caring. Also, Dicey loves her family, and she does everything possible to protect her family. The antagonist of Dicey’s Song, is her life. Her mom’s sickness (she was crazy and left Dicey and her family stranded in a car at the parking lot at the mall) causes a lot of stress on the family, just like the problem they have of adjusting to new places all the time (i.e. having to walk 50 miles, staying at two college roommates’ house, staying with their cousin Eunice and then their grandmother’s house).
One of the other heroes is Gram (Abigail Tillerman). Gram is kind of like Dicey, very same when it comes to their personalities. She is an old grandmother who watches over Dicey and her siblings. Dicey has two brothers, James and Sammy, and one sister, Maybeth. James, the oldest, is smart and always wants to do the logical thing- no matter what. Sammy has a very high temper and is strong (physically). Maybeth is a slow learner, but she is really talented at playing the piano. Another of the heroes is Wilhemina Smiths, Mina for short. Mina is a determined, young, black girl who gives Dicey a shoulder to lean on. She really changes Dicey’s personality, because Dicey was very not into having any friends and Mina really pushed her and pushed her some more until Dicey would give Mina a chance. Dicey couldn’t understand why Mina would like her, because Mina was very popular and everyone liked her. Mr. Lingerle is a caring, white man who teaches Maybeth piano, and helps out the family during hard times. Jeff plays the guitar and becomes very good friends with Dicey. Another important character is Millie, Dicey’s uneducated boss at the town grocery store. She was uneducated because she did not know how to read. Millie was the only one that knew about Gram’s past. One last important character is Dicey’s mother. Throughout the story, Dicey’s mother is in a hospital because she is mentally ill. Even though this character does not say anything, the whole book revolves around her because of her sickness.
One of the major conflicts in this novel is between Dicey and herself. Dicey fights with her feelings while trying to help her family. Another major conflict is a conflict between Dicey and her family. Maybeth has a learning disability, and there is not enough money to keep the family going. There are other family problems too, like how to get food for the family, and how to care for the family. One of the little conflicts is between Dicey and her teacher. The teacher accuses Dicey of plagiarism, but Dicey didn’t copy anything. Finally, Mina stands up for her and helps Dicey out. Another minor conflict is a conflict between Gram and herself. Gram tries to forget her past and hold it back. Finally, Gram decides to “open the doors” on her past (let everything out) and tell her grandchildren about her life.
The turning point of Dicey’s Song is when Gram begins getting letters from the hospital about Dicey’s mother’s condition (which was really, really bad). Although Gram hates saying anything to Dicey about the letters, she has to share the horrible news. Dicey’s mother is dying slowly.
The story’s boring part deals with the mother’s illness getting worse and worse. Also, Dicey and Gram go to the hospital to visit Dicey’s mother on her deathbed. The climax of the story is the death of Dicey’s mother. The ending of Dicey’s Song is when the children bury their mother under the old mulberry tree in Gram’s backyard. Also, Gram begins telling about her own children.
The story’s theme is that a person must reach out to his or her family whenever they can. If the family refuses the help that that person offers, he or she must reach out again. The conclusion of the novel is when Gram finally makes the decision to tell about her life. Also, Dicey finally realizes that she has someone to care for her and her siblings.
I really liked this book, because it was a change from what I usually read. I usually like to read romance novels and I never liked books like these, and it was strange that I actually enjoyed this book even though it wasn’t a romance. There were strange parts in the book, that just didn’t fit in with the rest of it. Like when Gram and Dicey went shopping for clothing, it just didn’t fit in with the book. Because Dicey is so not like that. She doesn’t care about friends, popularity, boys or clothes, so why should they put that in? I think that Cynthia Voigt could have left that part out. In all, on a scale from 1 to 10 this book is like a six. You can’t read this book twice, because the whole point of the book is the unexpected.