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Samantha Plate's picture

The separated parts of NW create the sense of separate stories that only come together at the end. They share some similar characters and settings, and even sometimes the same story, but yet they each have their own distinctive nature, made more evident by the structure. This makes it difficult to consider the novel as a whole, one way to examine the novel as a whole would be to look at the reoccurring themes and symbols throughout the novel. By examining the themes of identity, the need to the "good guy", and growing up we can see the similarities between the characters and their stories. The symbols of 37, the apple tree, Leah's dog, and many others, help to add more insight into the development of the characters. I hope to gain more understanding of NW and Zadie Smith.