What is the relevance of the title Criss Cross to the story?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The title of Perkins' novel Criss Cross exists in a few different ways. First, the plot of the story covers the lives of different characters as they "try on" different identities, examine different relationships, and social expectations. Therefore, the title is relevant in regards to how the lives of the characters change as they grow and evolve over the course of the novel.

Second, the novel includes mathematical imagery (in the form of diagrams) and changes in the font used in the text. As voices change, the font changes. This offers a change of perspective which supports the title of the novel as well (given the criss-cross of the narrative voice brought forth at different times).

Lastly, the novel offers multiple humorous episodes which can be seen as contradicting what is being done or contradicting what the reader expects to happen. Essentially, the novel tends to move in a pattern which one can regard as criss-crossing over itself.


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