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An Analysis on Michael Northrop's Novel

Aaron Lundy

on 25 March 2013

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Transcript of Gentlemen

Michael Benton Michael is the story's protagonist and narrator. He is a dynamic character because he learns a big lesson: to choose a better group of friends. In the story it is his friends who drag him down and ultimately sink his ship.
Michael is also a round character because he has multiple sides. We see that Michael is easily influenced by his peers and his friends. Outside of high school, when Michael is with his family, or even by himself, Michael acts as a mature sophomore would. However, when he's around his friends, he becomes a punk, and a threat to society. Visuals Plot Northrop writes a story narrated by an adolescent named Michael. Michael attends a decent sized high school where there are multiple levels of education within each grade. Michael is placed in the remedial level along with three of his friends, Tommy, Mixer, and Bones. The story starts in Mr. Haberman’s English class where Tommy becomes frustrated with Haberman’s method of teaching and ends up getting sent to visit the school’s authority figures. Tommy goes missing and Michael and his two remaining friends suspect Mr. Haberman is behind his disappearance. A suspenseful, dramatic story unfolds and lessons are learned by the story’s adolescent characters. Themes & Connections 1. Choose the people you'll be around wisely.

2. It is best to talk about your inner problems.

3. You can never escape your conscience.

4. Accept praise. Be proud.

5. One failure can easily lead to the next. Mr. Haberman Mr. Haberman, or just Haberman, as his disrespectful sophomore remedial English class would say, is a flat character, meaning he has only one side. He's an innocent old man, who works as a teacher. Specifically, he's an innocent, old, man because he refers to his students as "Gentlemen," and also gives less fortunate children an equal opportunity to learn.
In the story we see no change to Haberman's character or philosophy. He does not learn a lesson at all, which is why I would label him as a static character. Setting A Michael Northrop Novel
By Aaron Lundy Gentlemen The cover of my story really leads you in to the story by developing the conflict prematurely. It shows that within the novel you will find violence and possibly death. The cover foreshadows a dark, eerie setting with drama and suspense. The cover leaves you with many questions... Why is that person being zipped in a body bag? How did he or she get there? And finally, "Is it a resurrecting zombie?" The Cover A Wooden Club In the beginning of the story, Mr. Haberman does a prereading exercise, to excite students about reading "Crime & Punishment," where he brings a large trash barrel, and asks the students of his remedial English class to guess what he has hidden in the barrel. After they list all of their guesses, Haberman instructs them to take a swing at the can with a wooden club that he provided. After class he asks Michael, the narrator, and his two remaining friends to carry the barrel out to his sports car. They were frustrated because the can weighed in very heavy, and created a dramatic and suspenseful situation between the three friends. Main Characters A suggestion of what the main characters might look like. Michael, Tommy, Mixer, and Bones all are introduced as punk characters that are negative influences. As a group they are labeled as failures and generally ignored by the school. No one can take them seriously, and they are placed in the lowest level of learning the school offers. Later in the story the group makes some questionable choices, which supports my claim that the four students are teenage punks who try to start problems. Maybe. Water Barrel In the beginning of "Gentlemen" by Michael Northrop, remedial English teacher, Mr. Haberman, instructs students to attempt to identify the contents of of a large blue barrel. His students give some wild guesses, but Mr. Haberman refuses to answer to them whether or not they're correct. The barrel conflict not only creates drama and suspense in the novel, but also is a successful tactic in generating students' interest in reading the novel "Crime & Punishment." The class conflict is the primary cause for the story's main conflict which also leads to the climax. The barrel is the main image in the rising action in "Gentlemen." Leaves, Fall, Woods Basically, one piece of the setting is out in the woods, the location of Mr. Haberman's house. Michael and his friends go on a trip to his house during the Fall school session so I was sure to include the naturally awesome colors of tree leaves in the Fall. The group of friends make a special visit to Mr. Haberman's house because they respect him and is their favorite teacher, obviously. Especially since they walked there, rather than traveling in a car. Which I can only assume, because they had not participated in their daily exercise, recommended by the NFL's Play 60 campaign. My five examples of setting for Northrop's "Gentlemen" are Haberman's remedial English classroom, the high school itself, in the hallways and outside, the dark, dreary, woods, a place of punishment, and finally, the Eastern United States in present time (the 21st century). I know that the book has a dark mood, not only from reading it, but from viewing the book's cover. As you read the story, much drama unfolds and suspense fills your mind. The story rarely takes place outside of Mr. Haberman's classroom, however there is one eerie scene that readers will love. Because Mike is lost and lets his friends lead him down the wrong path. Sometimes, you just need guidance, this is why schools provide us with counselors, so if we are lost, we can find a better path with ease. Because Mike witnesses his friend, Bones, rape a girl, but lets it eat at his conscience until the story ends, when he finally lets the authorities know everything. Similar to children who reside in the inner city, they are faced with conflict when they see their friends and gang members hit someone. Mike feels guilty about being involved in the attempted murder on his teacher, so he feels he must speak out to the authorities, and rats on his (ex)-friends. I feel bad after I do something wrong, like not informing my mom about my location, then after it eats at me, I let her know that I was in the wrong, and apologize. Michael and his friends believe that Mr. Haberman is mocking them by referring to them as gentlemen, because no one else in their school takes them seriously, or even cares about them. It seems like the America's adolescents have self-esteem issues because, as a whole, we lack confidence and spirit. We need to love ourselves more and accept praise when it is given. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like it is the fault of today's popular social networking that America's youth have an underdeveloped social skill set that, in comparison to other countries, leaves America in the dust in accurate and efficient communication. Basically, Michael doesn't try very hard in school, and he explains that he just 'landed' in the remedial level of English because he doesn't feeling like trying to understand what's going on in the above learning levels. Obviously he failed at trying, and look where that landed him, next to other punks who got him in trouble for life. America has this problem because people like Mike just give up after a few strung-together failures. Then, we end up on a path that will not take us toward success or wherever it is that we wanted to go. Bones Dear Readers,
I'm here today to tell you that you should not read Michael Northrop's book, Gentlemen. In the story, my best friend (also the narrator) goes on a rant, and throws me under the table in front of the court of law. I sound like a fool and am made out to be an irresponsible, idiotic, violent, juvenile, teenager. Anyone can think up all the wrongs and mistakes that someone else made, what do you think political ads are anyways. All in all, I'd just like to throw out that I am a teenager, who owned a dog, like a responsible teen would, and did chores for his parents. I may not have had the best run in school, but that's only because I'm not as blessed as my peers. If you read the book, try to remember that Michael will only tell you the worst mistakes I've made, and that you and me both are only human.
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