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Sophie's Choice

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Krystal Bernardo

on 14 June 2013

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Transcript of Sophie's Choice

By: William Styron
Sophie's Choice
-The title of my book is Sophie's Choice

-The meaning behind the title is about a difficult decision Sophie had to make in the past
This book revolves around the topics of love, friendship, and guilt. It's mostly about experiences in the Holocaust.
Literary Allusions
•The Catcher in the Rye
•Alice in Wonderland

•Edgar Allen Poe
•Charles Dickens
Literary Devices
•If you like historical issues
-Tackles a lot of issues: slavery, holocaust,
•Love story
-Love triangle between Stingo, Sophie, and Nathan
-Stingo's failed love life
•Intriguing learning about history and how life can be at concentration camp
-Details make it seem so real
Recommendation for the Book
The Title
•Stingo is the narrator and talks about his experience with Sophie and Nathan
•The story starts off with Stingo who got fired from his job at McGraw-Hill publishing
•He moved to Brooklyn into Yetta Zimmerman’s boarding house also known as the Pink Palace and met Sophie and Nathan
•Sophie is a beautiful Polish woman who is a survivor of the concentration camps in Auschwitz of WWII. Nathan is a Jewish American and supposedly a genius. Nathan can become very violent abusive when he takes his drugs
•The three of them quickly become best friends.
•As Sophie and Stingo get closer, she tells him of her past. She talks about her experience at Auschwitz, a concentration camp and how she had to make a horrible choice, and about her short internship as a typist for Rudolf Hӧss
•As Nathan’s rage become more violent and abusive, Stingo runs away with Sophie to the South to a farm that Stingo’s father inherited
•In the end, the dysfunctional relationship of Nathan with his mental illness and Sophie's guilt haunting her, Stingo cannot save them from their self-destructive path.
Plot Summary
Favourite Part
•The author of my book is William Clark Styron.
•He was born on June 11, 1925 in Newport News, Virginia.
•He had a wife named Rose Burgunder and had four children
•William Styron died on November 1st, 2006 due to pneumonia when he was 81 years old.

•Styron became an author of five novels, a play, several essay collections, and an autobiography.
•He wrote Lie Down in Darkness (1951), The Long March (1957), Set This House on Fire (1960), and The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967) and Sophie`s Choice (1979). Later on, Sophie`s Choice was made into a movie. Stingo, the narrator from Sophie’s Choice is Styron’s alter ego. They have many similarities between them

•He won the 1968 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his novel "The Confessions of Nat Turner" and was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1993 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington D.C. He also won the 1980 American Book Award and a nomination for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Sophie’s Choice.

•All of Styron's stories were inspired either by incidents and events from the early years of his life or by his family's history. He not only tells a great story but talks about great historical issues as well
The Author
• “Nathan and Sophie were like an old married couple.” (pg. 198)
•“His eyes were as lifeless as billiard ball” (pg. 225)
• “He remained hard as a billy goat”(pg. 279)
•“You’d have been a fossil” (pg. 22)
•“Write your guts out” (pg. 26)•“I’ll die without him” (pg. 52) •“I’m going to kick your ass into the middle of next year” (pg. 64)
IRONY:•Senator Theodore Bilbo would always talk bad about black people and call them the “N” word but then died of mouth cancer
•“I need you like any goddamned insufferable disease I can name. I need you like a case of anthrax” (pg. 50)
•“…devoured by, this octopus of a city” (pg. 315)
IMAGERY:•“Nathan: broad-shouldered, powerful-looking, crowned with a shock of hair swarthy as a Sioux’s, he resembled a more attenuated and frenetic John Garfield… He wore a light sweater and slacks and appeared to be in his late twenties.” (pg. 50)
•Statue of Liberty
•Empire State Building

•Adolf Hitler
•Heinrich Himmler
•Thomas Wolfe
The themes in this book are :
•You past does not define who you are, affects who you are today and the decisions you make
•no one can escape discrimination
•It’s hard to lose the ones you love
•Guilt can overtake your life
•Secrets prevent you from being free
My favourite part was when Sophie had to make a choice in end. Sophie was forced to make a choice that no mother should ever have to go through. She has to live with the guilt everyday and fills you with all types of emotions. I can never imagine having to make the choice she did.
Narration Style: This story is told by Stingo. When he describes Sophie's experiences, he either directly quotes what Sophie is saying and she takes over the narrative for a bit, or Stingo retells what happens when she tells him the story.
"Don't make me choose," .... For in the bleakest honesty of her heart she knew that she would never have been able to tolerate it, driven nearly mad as she was by her last glimpse of that vanishing form." (pg. 529-530)
Full transcript