Friday, November 21, 2014

Writing a Response Using Details from the Text for Support

Today we are going to take the event from yesterday and use it for support on a writing prompt. This is working backwards from normal, but the process and use of an event for supporting details is the same. This event can be used for a number of topics like setting, character, problem, plot, conflict, comparison to self, comparison to another character, comparison to another setting, mystery, etc. For this example I am going to write about setting.

I just finished reading Compound by S.A. Bodeen. The setting plays a major role in this book. The story takes place in an underground compound/bunker. For almost the entire book, the main character, Eli and his family live in the "Compound."

The books opens with this scene:

My world ended with a bang the minute we entered the compound and that silver door closed behind us. The sound was brutal. Final.   .   .   .   My fists beat on the door. I bawled. The screaming left me hoarse.

Right from the start as a reader I had to stop and try to imagine myself in this place. I couldn't imagine being forced to survive trapped underground with no hope of escape. Also, when Eli finds out his twin brother and grandmother don't make it to the shelter and die, the setting causes even more thought. Eli's father, mother, and sisters Lexie and Terese managed to get safely inside within the forty minutes needed to survive, but his twin brother Eddie and his grandmother didn't make it..

In a way, the setting is the whole world because the world just ended with a nuclear explosion. However, Eli's family was safe only because of the compound. Eli's father (a billionaire) had prepared them for this day and made provisions to help them survive underground for the next 15 years. This tells me right from the start of the book that the entire story takes place underground in this compound prison.

Being trapped here causes major problems emotionally for Eli. He was forced to live with the fact that he caused Eddie's death. Eli had talked him into sneaking into their grandmother's car. She didn't make it back to the compound in time to get to safety in the shelter. Now Eli had to spend each day knowing his brother, his twin died because of him. There is no escaping this fact and being stuck in this setting reminds Eli of this every minute of every day.

Compound is a great book with a lot of events that bring you into the book and make you wonder what you would do in this situation. The setting controls the lives of the characters and the entire story.