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Independent Novel Project

The Shack
by

Grace Harrell

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Independent Novel Project

Independent Novel Project: The Shack- The Title- Sure, at first glances the title is simple for any book, but when you begin to think about it they have meanings. For my book,
,the title uses symbolism. Which I think was a pretty wise thing to do, for the actual shack is the main setting. As well as where Mack's daughter was murdered, and overall where his fear and sadness is finally lost, after encounters with God. It is more than just a title it's symbolic to his life, Mack overcomes "The Great Sadness" there. The topic which had held him back for so long. So it's truly more than just a title, it's a part of Mack's life, making it part of his story, this story. The Setting- The Main Characters- Same as the title suggest the setting is
.The majority of the book takes place or even refers back to the shack. This is where the, main character, Mack's daughter is killed, which constantly haunts him. Although a very depressing place, that makes Mack stiffen and feel as if he will throw up at any second, through out the book he visits there numerous times. Often Mack and God travel around places near the Shack to help Mack overcome his thoughts of Missy's death being his fault. So I think there are sub settings such as the dock given a whole chapter to tell about "God On the Dock." Mack-(father, husband, true author) Grace Harrell Quotes- "Growth means change and change involves risks, stepping from the known to the Unknown."
-Author Unknown Quotes- "This always works better when we do it together, don't you think?" Jesus asked smiling. God/Papa- Nan-(wife, mother) Melissa-(daughter) Well there is a lot to say about Mackenzie a.k.a. Mack; for starters he is the main character, and the actual author of "The Shack." Personally I think that I would have liked it more if it had been his name by the author title, and first person point of view. Even though the book has lot's of his emotions I think that the reader could really get more of Mack's thoughts if would have been this way. Overall I liked how he really had the most effect from his daughter's death. Although given many different names to go by in the book, God was truly the second main character. (And He was not the only religious figure in the book, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all included, just not in a form you would think of; and you'll have to read the book to find out how.) I really like how He was constantly trying to push Mack to not really get over his daughter's death, but to try to let go of his thoughts of it being his fault. On the other hand I don't think a non-believer would be really moved by this book, like myself they'd be totally confused by God. "The Shack" portrays Him in so many different ways, I was truly confused and didn't know if it was giving off a good vibe for God. It represented Him in a sort of "foggy" way, I and other readers wouldn't be sure to make of God. My opinion of Nan... I loved this character! Not the main character or even second, but she does have impact on the story through out the novel. Her relationship with God or as she refers to him as Papa, is often compared to her Husband's. Her's resulting in her great love and grand bond with God, the book even says "While Mack's relationship with God is wide, Nan's is deep." This is shown repeatedly in the book, by focusing on the impact the relationship has on her family.
Melissa or Missy I find to be a huge part of the book, although dead. Truly the book evolves around her, if she hadn't died the book wouldn't exist. In parts of the book Mack look's back on her life and she like any child asks lots of questions. A reason I like her, she reminds me of my little cousin, always playing Twenty Questions. Even though her death caused a great amount of sorrow, her character somehow added a sense of happiness to her passing. Meanings- "Faith never knows where it is being led, but it knows and loves the One who is leading."
-Oswald Chambers Some people don't like change or new adjustments, for both do involve risks and a difference in your everyday life. This quote does a great job of stating how one would have to step out of their "comfort zone" to see the growth change can bring. Faith (short term)- believing without seeing, which allows this quote to make sense when Chambers says it "never knows where it is being led." As well as "knows and loves the One who is leading", referring to God as the leader. "Then there is the late arrival, Melissa or Missy, as we were fond of calling her." I love this quote for it's foreshadowing, by simply saying "were." It hints, practically states Missy isn't around anymore, by using it past tense, and draws the reader in. Meanings- I can connect with this quote on a personal level, because I try to act all independent. Just like Mack I think I can do things without God, when clearly I cannot. It would be a lot easier to just let Him in. "It was cold enough that his breath hung in the air around him, and it even felt as if it might snow. The pain that had been building in his stomach finally pushed him into panic." This quote is so descriptive, it really shows a meaning hidden between the two sentences. After thinking about it this truly just shows how the slightest thing can remind Mack of the "Great Sadness." "The Great Sadness." My favorite quote is this, the one frequently used. To simply just come out in page one and tell of Missy's death would had been the reason I put the novel down. Instead using this title for it adds foreshadowing and sums up how Mack thinks of it. Quotes- "The darkness hides the true size of fears and lies and regrets..." Quote- "The following day experts descended like buzzards, recovering Missy's remains and bagging the sheet along with whatever else they could find. It took only weeks after that to glean enough evidence to track down and arrest the Little Ladykiller. Learning from the clues the man had left for himself to find Missy's cave, authorities were able to locate and recover the bodies of the other little girls he had murdered." Meanings- This quote made me think and after reading it a few times, I got it. It means when we fear, lie, or regret something we try our hardest to hide it. Maybe all of us don't cover it up with darkness, maybe the exact opposite, but either way you try to hide it because of your shame. And for most it works! "I've always sort of pictured Him as a really big grandpa with a long white flowing beard, sort of like in Gandalf in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." So as reading this I really predicted Nan would say she pictured Him like Santa. After researching Gandalf I see where she was coming from, but I don't imagine God the same. This quote really gets the reader thinking. So, how would you picture God? "Even should we find another Eden, we would not be fit to enjoy it perfectly nor stay in it forever."
-Henry Van Dyke I liked this quote for it's understanding and once again it is one that makes you think. At the time of Eden it was paradise for Adam and Eve,but for this century some nature and tasty fruit wouldn't satisfy the average American. Meaning- This is the last line out of the novel, before the "After Words" and Acknowledgments.It captures not only the resolution, but the true result after Mack was led to the cave by "Papa." The first sentences' simile I liked, along with the excess knowledge on the "Little Ladykiller." Do you want to read ? This book became #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and has been passed along from friend to friend. Many in my church family have read it and it is even included in our church library. Overall I enjoyed the book and would be happy to lend it to anyone interested in reading it. I think everyone should read it for themselves, to really experience Mack's story. Sure it isn't like sitting down and talking to him, but it's second best.Film producers have already expressed interest in making this story into a movie for general theatrical release and will pursue that after a sufficient number of these books are in circulation. Word of mouth is still the most effective tool for a book like this to gain traction in the wider culture.

If you haven't picked up the book is not written by Mackenzie Allen Phillips himself, not even a sibling of his, but a best friend. William Paul Young's name is where the author's always is, but even thought it is he knows and states early in the book this isn't his story; it's Mack's, he just helped him put it on paper.Next is the genre? Truly I'm not sure it has one, most readers claim it's fiction for it's encounters with God, but the author himself says it is true. Unless Mack ever comes out it will remain the readers opinion.

I hope that after I present my extra project you will be interested in and if you have any further questions you can ask me after class. Thanks for your attention!
-Grace Harrell The Missy Project: "If you’ve been touched by the wonder of this book and want to help make it available to others at a wider level, we invite you to participate in The Missy Project!
A team of us who have read and been touched by The Shack are convinced this book deserves a reading across the broadest reaches of our culture. Not only is this a compelling and provocative story, but it has a literary quality to it that distinguishes it as a special gift. It offers one of the most poignant views of God and how he relates to humanity that has been written in our time. It will not only encourage those who already know him but also engage those who have not yet recognized his work in their lives." The Missy Project is a way to spread the book, so others can be touched by the story. I intend to later give my copy of The Shack to the project, so someone else can not only read Mack's story, but also see God's love and compassion. For more information check out www.theshackbook.com ! The Shack The Shack The Shack The Shack
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