English CBA2 Student Exemplars

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Alicia Brophy,

17 Xxxxx xxxx,


Co. Dublin.

17 November 2016.

Patrick Ness,

87 Vauxhall Walk,



R.E: The Knife of Never Letting Go.

Dear Mr. Ness,

I am writing to you about some questions and suggestions I have about your novel The Knife of Never Letting Go, from the series Chaos Walking. I hope when you read this letter you’ll contemplate some ideas you may have never considered before.

I studied The Knife of Never Letting Go in my second year of secondary school, and I really enjoyed it. I particularly liked how many controversial topics and problems we face today are handled in a more simple way that makes them easier to understand, such as the role of women in society.

My favourite theme in the book is the theme of growing up. Although it’s a very common theme in teenage novels, I like how symbols are used to symbolise it, such as the river that Todd and Viola travel next to for the duration of the novel. Although the symbolism is very subtle, it still has a big impact on the reader and an important meaning.

I also admired how the characters didn’t conform to stereotypical archetypes – although Todd is ‘the hero’, he isn’t clean-cut and deals with anger issues and is vulnerable to jealousy and fear like the rest of us. Although, Viola balanced his emotions with her quick-wits and level-head, she wasn’t perfect either. I think Viola had a strong case of hubris. Whenever she learned of things from New World that were different from how she lived, she was very incredulous and always pointing out the flaws. I did like how she managed to fight through difficult times even though she’s been through a lot, though, because female characters are often pictured as weak in action novels.

My first question is: have you ever imagined an alternative universe where Viola’s parents survived? Do you think this major change would affect the plot? I would imagine Todd would be a lot less angry if he had parent figures other than Ben and Cillian, and the settlers would arrive a lot earlier than they did in the series.

My second question is: if Haven had been the indestructible safe place Viola and Todd first imagined it to be, how do you think the story would unravel? Would a war between the Spackle, the Answer, and Mayor Prentiss still take place? Or would having Haven be such a powerful fortress that could fight easily make no sense and destroy some of the most important events?

Overall, your novels are very enjoyable. The setting paired with the unique characters and dramatic plot make for a book that is hard to put down. Thank you for considering my ideas and reading my thoughts on the novel.

Yours faithfully,

Alicia Brophy.