I have to analyse Ann Patchett's Bel Canto. I have been asked to write an analytical response to pages 56 and 57. Could you please help me with ideas for a good analysis, and different situations...

I have to analyse Ann Patchett's Bel Canto. I have been asked to write an analytical response to pages 56 and 57. Could you please help me with ideas for a good analysis, and different situations that I should use in my analysis to provide a healthy and strong analysis? 

Expert Answers
teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

On pages 56–57 in my edition, the prisoners are in a state of transition, and the Russian Fyodorov lights a cigarette. Finally, Messner the translator returns.

I would suggest focusing on three elements in analyzing this passage: what has changed in the minds of the prisoners? Patchett states it clearly early on in the passage and it is a very significant change in their mindset: they realize something and this begins to change their behavior. Second, why does Fyodorov light his cigarette? (It directly relates to the change in mindset.) What does this tell us about the character of Fyodorov? Is he cowardly or brave? How do we know? Does he come from a background of poverty or wealth? How do we know? What does the "minion" do who is supposed to stop the smoking? What does this indicate about the terrorists/rebels who kidnapped them? Why does the woman, do you think, feel emboldened to yell that she won't take this? Finally, why is it important that Messner the translator returns? What does all of this foreshadow about what will happen? What does it tell us about the rebels? Are they cold-blooded killers or are they more humane? 

As you answer these questions, you will be analyzing key points about this important passage, which focuses on a transition. Be sure to back up your points with quotes from the text to support what you are saying.

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Bel Canto

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