This written assignment is about the extract of the novel “Twelve” by Nick McDonell written in 2002. I will make a summary and a characterization of one of the characters. And an analysis of the narrative technique and describe the themes in the text. Finally I will make a conclusion.
The text “Twelve” takes place a few days after Christmas in New York City where you meet White Mike and three other characters. White Mike is taking a year off before college and he is good at dealing drugs. Hunter is one of Mike’s best friends from high school. They discuss about going to college or not. Hunter is studying at Harvard.
Sara Ludlow is the most popular and the hottest girl at her school. She is wearing all the expensive clothes and accessories. She is invited to Chris’ party where Mike is going to sell drugs. At Chris’s party you also meet the girl Jessica. Jessica is a naturally and sporty girl without much makeup. Jessica is doing drugs at the party and it’s named “ number twelve”. The day after the party is Jessica out skating with some of her girlfriends and Sara Ludlow went to see Chris. Sara tries to persuade Chris to hold a new but bigger party.
White Mike is a thin and blonde teenager who is clean but he is a very good drug dealer. He never had a drink. Mike wears jeans and a hooded sweatshirt and a Brooks Brothers overcoat. Mike was a good student but now he has been out of school for six months. He’s taking more than a year off before college but he hasn’t applied to college yet although he has to apply before January the first. Hunter and Warrens are White Mikes two best friends. White Mike is not going to Chris’ party because he doesn’t drink alcohol or do drugs and also because it’s after Christmas so all the children” have money to blow” so Mike is being busy selling drugs. White Mike started to sell drugs because he made a deal with his cousin Charlie and now he earns good money. White Mike is a flat character because you don’t know much about his personality. Even though he was clever at school he is unwise because he hasn’t applied for college yet. I don’t think that he does it because he doesn’t show any interest when Hunter asks him about it. He acts very cold-hearted since he sells drugs even to young people at his own age.
The text is written with a 3rd person narrator. It’s an omniscient narrator because it’s a narrator who knows what the characters think and feel and how they act. An example from the text is what Sara Ludlow thinks when she kisses Chris: “ I can’t believe I’m doing this, thinks Sara”.
Drugs are a central theme in the text: White Mike is a drug dealer and at Chris’ party he sells drugs. Jessica does the drug named “ number Twelve” which relate to the title of the text. When you do drugs your personality change and your behaviour is different. At the party the young people do things that they wouldn’t normally do and maybe they will regret it afterwards.
The text is also about young people’s relation to sex. For example Jessica and her friends made two deals about sex. The first is “ they agree that it is okay to give blow jobs but not to have sex until, like, the time is right” and the second is “ chicks before dicks”. It shows that the girl’s’ friendship is more important to them than to have a boyfriend. They have the same attitude to sex and boys as Sara Ludlow who uses sex to get what she wants: ”I have lots of boyfriends… That’s the way it works… Different guys are interesting for different reasons”.
My conclusion is that the four characters White Mike, Sara Ludlow, Chris and Jessica destroy their teenage lives because of drugs, alcohol and sex. They use other people to obtain something that they want. I think it’s a though text with a negative tone.