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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Graveyard Book

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

We’re going to make what might sound like a bizarre suggestion: the graveyard, in addition to being a graveyard, is also meant to represent a library. No, really. See, author Neil Gaiman says th...

Setting

Yes, this book is set in a graveyard; that's what puts the “Graveyard” in The Graveyard Book. To get to the graveyard, all you have to do is go to Old Town, and walk up the hill. In addition to...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator of The Graveyard Book is a third-person narrator, meaning that it never talks about itself, but just tells us the story. Although the narrator is most closely tied to Bod and his story...

Genre

(For a discussion of The Graveyard Book as a novel made up of short stories, check out "Writing Style." See you there!)The Graveyard Book blends lots of genres together to create its remarkable eff...

Tone

Tone is where we look at all the elements of the novel and think about the author’s feelings toward his or her audience and subject matter. Although the narrator’s point of view is something we...

Writing Style

Neil Gaiman set a difficult task for himself when he was writing The Graveyard Book. He talks about it in his acceptance speech for the 2009 Newbery Medal:I wanted the book to be composed of short...

What's Up With the Title?

Neil Gaiman, author of The Graveyard Book, doesn’t hide the fact that he’s in looove with Rudyard Kipling’s classic collection of short stories The Jungle Book (which you can read for free on...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

Rattle his bonesOver the stonesIt’s only a pauperWho Nobody owns – Traditional Nursery Rhyme If we plug this little rhyme into Google, and scroll through the gazillions of results, we find tha...

What's Up With the Ending?

The final chapter of The Graveyard Book, “Leavings and Partings,” Bod leaves the graveyard. All of a sudden, he’s booted out of his home, without even having a chance to think it through. And...

Plot Analysis

Murder. A bunch of it.Yep, The Graveyard Book starts off with some pretty horrible violence. A one-and-a-half-year-old baby, who will soon become Nobody Owens, escapes from a man named Jack, who mu...

Trivia

Neil Gaiman started cursing like a sailor when he found out he won the impressive Hugo Award in 2002 for his novel American Gods. He refrained cursing when he won the Newbery, but we imagine it was...

Allusions

Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book (title)Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat (2.17)Victor Hugo (3.164)Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (6.4, 6.25, 6.219)The Duke of Westminster (3.throughout)The Bishop of Ba...
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