"Back Roads"

Topics: Communication

The following example essay on “Back Roads” is an analysis of the Tawny O’Dell novel. The essay reveals the plot of a work of art and talks about the main characters of the story.

“Back Roads,” by Tawny O’Dell is a well-written and suspenseful novel with a gut-wrenching twist. The story draws the reader in from the beginning and leaves you with a deep feeling of depression and desolation. The dark storyline engages the reader in a first-person account of lies, tragedies, betrayal, and murder.

Our narrator is Harley Altmyer, an orphaned teenage boy who is forced to fulfill the role of an adult after his mother was arrested for the murder of his abusive father. He takes over the overwhelming role of a parental guardian for his 3 younger sisters in the backwoods country of Pennsylvania, which is where the story takes places and the plot fully develops.

The author’s use of language carries out the sinister vibe of the small mining town in Pennsylvania where the story takes place.

Living in a small town in the middle of nowhere, deep in the back roads creates an essence of encapsulation and restriction of freedom. It seems like the type of place where you would find such a distraught and dysfunctional family and abuse may be common. With this setting, you can see how the story relates to where there is no place to run or escape, just as Harley’s mother and sister had already tried. They are stuck and as the plot continues we see the dark secrets of the family are later revealed to Harley as he begins to unravel the horrified truth.

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After the murder of his father and his mother is sentenced to jail, Harley is responsible for taking care of his 3 younger sisters. Still being a teenager, he is forced into adulthood and we can see his progression from a child to man throughout the duration of the novel. While working two jobs and taking care of his siblings, he balances visits to his mother and attends meetings with his therapist. These meetings are important due to the information the reader can gather which unveils horrifying truths about the family.

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"Back Roads". (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-back-roads-by-tawny-odell/

"Back Roads"
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