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"And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand." - Majora

How to Be Good

  • Date Submitted: 03/19/2010 05:33 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.6 
  • Words: 1614
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How to be Good

It's a fact that not all people live a good and normal life. Some just simply don’t have the resources to do so. They might be victims of war or a natural disaster like the one in Haiti or they might be victims who have been betrayed by the welfare system and lost their jobs and homes. They might even be the victims of violence, like a mother with child seeking refuge from her violent husband. The rest of us feel sorry for these people, and tell ourselves that we must help those in need. But it’s a fact that only a few of us put these thoughts into action.

How to be Good, is a novel, written by Nick Hornby in 2001 that is based on a typical middle-upper class family, which goes through a struggle between holding on and letting go. In this story their struggle is letting go of some of their own small pleasures and giving them to someone who is in need, or holding on to these pleasures because they have too much value to be given away.

The novel is written from the mother’s point of view, with relatively many dialogues. There is not much emphasis put on the description of the family or the surroundings, since it is not important for the meaning of the story. It is easy to imagine and relate to the family since it is a modern text from 2001. Instead the emphasis is put on the mother’s thoughts. Apart from the dialogues the story is seen from the mothers point of view. It is written in a very colloquial language since the novel is based on impulsive thoughts and dialogues. Even swear words such as “shit” and “fuck” are used in the novel, which makes the story more contemporary.

In this novel, the scene is set in the home of a family, the mother, Katie, working as a doctor, the husband David and their children Molly at the age of 8 and Tom. There are two particular scenes in this novel where we gain insight into their family life, around their kitchen table having a conference and when David prepares a meal for Katie’s parents. The conflict of...


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