Focus on the themes of the novel and whether Irving presents those themes effectively. Analyze whether the themes are best served by the setting and time of the novel. Is the story presented chronologically or does it rely on flashbacks or flash forwards. Who is the hero of the novel? What is the structure of the story and is it an effective way of displaying the themes? Does the story have a moral and if so, what is it? Is the narrator objective or subjective? Is the narrator reliable? Look at the choices Irving made as an author and analyze whether those choices were effective from the perspective of the reader.