Levithan's Characterization & Chapter Choice

  In the novel entitled “Everyday” written by David Levithan, the author uses specific strategies to keep the readers attention. The main character is not fully introduced, but the reader meets them in every chapter as they go through the different identities. This setup affects how the reader understands the main character because there is never a proper introduction. In Everyday, the narrator who goes by the name of A is in a different body after 12am. Other than finding out that the narrator goes by the name of A and that they’re 16 years old, we never find out any deeper personal traits. Although we never find out personal traits, the reader does get a chance to experience A’s thoughts. Personally, I believe the reasoning behind the reader never having the ability to get to know the protagonist is because it does not know who it is either. This way of writing keeps the reader engaged throughout the book. It makes you keep an eye open and be on your toes to see if you’ll ever find out A’s identity. Is it a male or female? What’s its ethnicity? Where was it born? Is it even human? While we never get to know these things by the end of the novel, David Levithan’s characterization skills allow us to get to know A more and more each and everyday.

  Along with the author not fully introducing the main character, he also uses another technique that was very appealing, unique, and interesting. The second technique was that David Levithan chose to make every chapter a different day of the protagonist’s life. This writing style put emphasis on the authors decision of A having to start over everyday living a different life.

  The novel starts off with the protagonist introducing his “situation” to the readers. Our main character A early off says “Every day I am someone else. I am myself-- I know I am myself-- but I am also someone else. It has always been like this”. The author is allowing the character  to explain to us how it knows that there will always be its inner self within someone else. A
knows that physically it does not look the same everyday as a normal person would, but it knows who it is deep inside. I believe the author has the protagonist state this in order to make the reader believe that this is A’s way of believing that it knows how it is. It’s covering up the fact that A believes that it’s life is real thing like other people; when really it’s not and A does not know who A is.

  As stated before, the author utilizes the technique of making each chapter be a different day of the protagonist's life. Along with this technique, the author has the main character A state things that allows the reader to get a better understanding and interpretation of how he deals with it. “I wake up thinking of yesterday. The joy is in remembering; the pain is in knowing it was yesterday.”, stated by A. To some people, this quote could represent how they know that everyday is a different day and you could have the memories from it, but you’ll never live that day again. Yet to A, it means that and so much more. Regarding the main character’s situation, this quote means that it can think of yesterday as much as it wants, but it will always be a different yesterday. A different yesterday meaning a different lifestyle to live. A will never have a life where it can go and talk with its friends about what it did yesterday because A will always have to focus on the current day and the persons body who it’s in.

  When researching outside opinions regarding the novel Everyday, there were many things stated about what people personally favored most about the book. There are reviews all over in many different forms where people have shared their thoughts on the book. Everyday is a book for people of all ages, but its content is mainly targeted for teenagers and young adults. To get a different persons interpretation of the book, I took to a place that is appealing to teenagers and young adults; YouTube. YouTube lead the researcher to hear many thoughts on the book. One that stood out was a 6 minute interview by a teenage girl whose name is Kat. Kat highly enjoyed reading the novel and stated that one of her favorite aspects pertaining to the book was its characterization. She stated “A does not have a body. A does not hair, or eyes, or skin that can be described. Even without a body, I could still feel A’s presence and just thought that A was such a well developed character.” From another point of view, Kat also feels as though A is a great character in the novel. She’s saying that the things that we can physically see are not the things make a well developed person, let alone character. It is the things that are invisible to the eye and as cliche as it may seem, it'll allow you to get to know a person for what’s on the inside rather than outside.

David Levithan withdrew so much information when introducing our main character A. Who knew that this could allow the reader to connect with the character more. By the end of the book, the reader realizes that you do not need a gender, ethnicity, or a physical body in order evoke the feelings that A does in Everyday. All we know is that A is a soul whose feelings,
thoughts, and emotions are expressed thoroughly throughout the entire novel. Along with the character “introduction”, we are able to have the book’s structure also be a guide to add prominence with every new day.  Every chapter/day the reader gets a chance to feel how the main character does being in a different body and environment. We are taken along to help live the borrowed life of a borrowed person everyday over the 40 days that the book takes place. These two techniques allow the book to be unique and keep the readers attention chapter after chapter. While reading, you’ll learn lessons without knowing it, yet they all will not come together until the end.