Literacy Term Analysis

Literacy Term Analysis

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  • Protagonist: Ann
  • Antagonist: Mr. Loomis
  • Theme
  •  The protagonist in the novel Z is for Zachariah is Ann Burden. Ann is a 16-year-old girl who survived a nuclear war. All of her family died to the radiation, so she lives alone in "the valley" by herself. Ann is a very independent teen. Ann is also smart, hard-working, independent, and Ann is a dynamic character.
  • Foreshadowing: "'To my absolute astonishment, he did not even smile, but reached over and took my hand. "Grabbed' would be a better word. He took it very quickly and hard, pulled it to his chair . . . so that I almost fell over"(O'Brien 159).
  • The antagonist is Mr. Loomis. Mr. Loomis is a flat character and when he arrives. Mr. Loomis starts off as a nice, helpful character. This soon changes and he becomes very violent and forceful. Mr. Loomis is a dynamic character who changes throughout the story. First, Mr. Loomis is found to be forceful and mean, but then realizes he was wrong.
  • Suspense: "I am hiding now in thick woods high up on the west ridge near the gap at the south end of the valley . . . It is all a nightmare. What happened is Mr. Loomis shot me!" (O'Brien 197).
  • In the story Z For Zachariah, a theme is presented. When Ann first meets Mr. Loomis, Ann believes Mr. Loomis is a nice, and caring person. He helps her with tasks and provides smart ideas. This leads to Ann trusting Mr. Loomis which relates to the theme of being careful who you trust. Mr. Loomis tricked her and put her in danger.
  • Imagery: "An inexplicable thing: the dog, Faro, has come back . . . He looks terrible-as thin as a skeleton, and half the hair is gone from his  left side"(32).
  • This is the first time Ann realizes Mr. Loomis might not be who she thinks. Mr. Loomis later grabs her in her sleep trying to hurt her and show his superiority. This action shows foreshadowing for his later savage actions. 
  • As things get worse, Ann finds herself struggling more and more. She doesn't have anyone to trust, she doesn't ever feel safe and now that Mr. Loomis is trying to hunt her she has no more ideas. Ann is a teenage girl who can't find happiness or safety. These two factors cause problems to be much more suspenseful and stressful.
  • O'Brien uses imagery to give a greater understanding of the valley and their actions. In this case, Ann's dog, Faro, is extremely skin ny due to lack of food and nutrition. This relates back to the conflict of the nucleur war and having very little supplies. This picture shows how Faro has no food, nor water and also has no energy.
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