What are the principle elements of the first world that characterize The Graveyard Book?

The main elements of the first world that characterize The Graveyard Book are violence, mobility, and assimilation.

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One element of the first world that characterizes the world in Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book is violence. As with the first world (i.e., developed countries like the United States), the world in The Graveyard Book is violent. The book begins with a character called “the man Jack” murdering a family. Unfortunately, murder is a regular feature of the United States. There are many books and documentaries about murders (e.g. In Cold Bold and Making a Murderer). Not only does it happen frequently but it seems to hold an uncanny appeal for a large number of people.

Another element of the first world that links to Gaiman’s novel is travel. Like many people in the first world, Nobody moves around a lot. He goes from living in a relatively normal home to living in a paranormal graveyard to being forced to live with the ghouls. Although Nobody appears to be on the go more out of necessity than choice, he, like many first-world denizens, comes across as mobile nonetheless.

One final element that could be brought up is assimilation. People coming to the first world tend to adopt its culture and behaviors. Nobody, too, starts to espouse the ways of life that are practiced by his new community. Not only does Nobody learn to “Fade,” but he figures out how to “Dreamwalk” as well.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 24, 2020
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