Gary Schmidt portrays Holling Hoodhood as a dynamic character by showing the changes that he undergoes over nine months, as well as by having Holling tell his own story. Positioning Holling as the first-person narrator allows the reader to see his insights into his own attitudes and behavior, not just the behavior alone from an outsider’s perspective. Becoming more insightful is actually one of Holling’s biggest changes.
The structure of the book also helps the reader see Holling’s dynamism. During each month, a series of small but important alterations occur, and in each subsequent month, Holling’s experiences and reactions build on those of the previous month. This structure shows the ebb and flow of change in Holling’s heart and mind as well as his environment. The author might have chosen instead to keep Holling rather static and then undergo an epiphany at the end, which might have been more suspenseful but would be less realistic than the way the plot unfolds.
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