• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Behind the Scenes at the museum" - Kate Atkinson Consider the effectiveness of the title. You may wish to consider the "behind the scenes" quality of the telling of the story and the notion of a "museum".

Extracts from this document...


Coursework "Behind the Scenes at the museum" - Kate Atkinson Consider the effectiveness of the title. You may wish to consider the "behind the scenes" quality of the telling of the story and the notion of a "museum". "I exist!" So begins the novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Ruby Lennox has literally just been conceived and is already starting to narrate her life story. Although many of the chapters in the book are told from Ruby's perspective, commenting on the present, there are others that follow called footnotes. These depict stories from the past, explaining how and why certain things came to be, following various members of her family dating back to her great grandmother. At the beginning of the book, we are not quite sure how these footnotes are relevant, but realise after a short time that they are vital to the insight and understanding of many of the complicated characters in the book. The footnotes are spread throughout the entire course of the book, which means that the beautiful story unfurls gradually, leaping from past to present, fitting together magically in front of you, up until the very last chapter. ...read more.


much more that there appears to be on the outside, hidden things, secrets whether they're good or bad, in Ruby Lennox's life. But it's not her life; it's more like her own museum. A museum of new and old things, of good and bad. Another way of putting it would be like watching a play; you can see the 'surface' or the 'result', but you cannot tell what goes on behind the scenes. There is no obvious 'storyline' as such in the book until the end, or at least the reader isn't meant to sense one. We just follow ruby through her sad and incomplete life. Now and then in the story, something will happen or someone will say something that will get the reader wondering what on earth they mean. For example, towards the beginning of the book Ruby is sent away. She is only about four years old at the time, but she is still made to stay with Bunty's sister, Babs for a long time. She doesn't know why, and neither does the reader. The reader is in a permanent state of confusion throughout the chapter, almost feeling the same as Ruby. ...read more.


"'You killed your own sister, Ruby! You killed your own sister! ...' He shouted... 'I did not kill my own sister!' I [Ruby] hissed back at him. 'She was run over!'" (She's referring to Gillian). "'I [Mr Belling] don't mean that one, you stupid little girl, I mean your twin sister!'" Here comes the final plot twist. Ruby had a twin sister, Pearl. There was an accident when she was about four where Pearl fell through thin ice and drowned. Ruby got blamed because Gillian had feared that it would be her who'd be blamed because she had told Pearl to go out onto the thin ice. After the accident, Ruby suffered from amnesia, which is why she has no recollection of it, and why she'd never told anyone that it was actually Gillian's fault. When the reader finds this out, every single unanswered question in the book is suddenly and finally resolved. Things like the two pictures in the locket, the 'accident', and the way that everyone nearly calls her Pearl before they can remember she's Ruby. We have looked into Ruby's past, Ruby's present and even slightly into her future. We've read her thoughts, acknowledged her fears and explored things she herself had forgotten. The reader has truly gone behind the scenes. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Harper Lee essays

  1. Discuss the theme of prejudice in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

    Because of this, when characters give their opinions about prejudice and other issues, we find it easier to believe that real people have the same views. Lee uses clever language to describe Maycomb and give us an impression of it being slow and boring.

  2. To Kill a Mocking Bird

    Considering all the children in this novel I think scout is the smartest one in terms of reading and writing. This is not all, not only she can read and write but she can understand what is going on in Maycomb Alabama.

  1. Why did Harper Lee choose to have a child narrator in, 'To Kill a ...

    The reader is educated as Scout is being educated, and in this sense the book is didactic, teaching us what life was like at the time. This is shown in the way Scout learns to discard prejudices against Walter Cunningham and Boo Radley.

  2. Consider the techniques used by Nichols and Taylor to convey their origins to the ...

    For example when she says: "in my name, in my blood, to receive you, my curled bean" Here we can see that the child is a fragment of the mother, follows her name and holds her blood. Indirectly Nichols is referring to the fact that the child will be black, representing black heritage and consisting of black blood.

  1. Discuss Harper Lee's presentation of prejudice and injustice in the trial episode. Pay particular ...

    He grows weary and we see that the injustice, not only in Maycomb but the injustice between all people everywhere begins to eat away at Atticus's kind good natured being. This is a climatic moment in the book. Not one occupied by action or suspense but one where we see

  2. How do the mother's talk-stories and Chinese folklores help Maxine Hong Kingston embark on ...

    Kingston doesn't like the passive way of revenge of her aunt who committed spite suicide by jumping into the family well. Kingston will like to devote a few pages to arouse people awareness towards the treatment of women. She would also like to see herself as a pioneer in breaking

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work