In the book Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn he writes a fictional novel to entertain his reader while trying to bring out a bigger message. His message is evidently shown throughout the whole book. The message Dunn wants to address in his book appear to be that we as individuals are lacking language, communication and critical thinking and the consequences that come with it. Mark Dunn uses epistolary to write this book which makes the reading more personal, for the reader is reading letters between characters in which they talk in first person revealing more than any other genre would.
All while Dunn uses his ability to play with letters to show the reader about how language can be fun, manipulated and extremely important. In Ella Minnow Pea the story takes place on a small literacy island Nollop named after Nevin Nollop who created the pangram with 35 letters “The quick brown foxjumps over the lazy dog. ” However, things within this literacy island began to change when they letters in the moment of Nollop begin to fall. Chaos starts in this one joyful island as the council head of their island forbidden the use of these fallen letters due to the believe of it being a message from Nollop.
Without a doubt, in this small island whose biggest source of communication is letter writing and literacy is their biggest ideal this change is atrocious. When it came to Dunn’s choice of genre by using epistolary the reader can easily see how this fictional novel effectively bring out the author’s main message all while entertaining the reader. One of the messages that Dunn seems to brings out in his book is critical thinking and how it is very necessary. One should not just jump to conclusion but should analyze the situation before hand if not it might lead to unwanted results or seeming foolish.
Such example is shown in the book from the High Council. It all started with the falling of the first tile “Z” on Nollops statue, when this occurred the High Council jumped straight into the conclusion that it was a message from Nollop. The High Council mistress addressed, “There was, without a doubt, purpose to the tumble:this event constituting, in my belief, a terrestrial manifestation of Mr. Nollop wishes. Mr. Nollop speaks to us from beyond the grave, my fellow Nollopians.
We will listen with open ears, discern his intent, and follow his wishes accordingly. ” (Dunn 6) The High Council in this situation acted quite irrational and did not analyze the situation well and made something so small too big they over analyzed and did not really think about it. However, Dunn shows how the citizens of Nollop are quite thrown off by this law it is absurd yet they wrote how they feared of their rule as many others she decides to stay quiet and Ella hopes and wrote, “We hope and Pray that the council will come to its senses on the matter. (Dunn 27)
As many of Nollop’s citizens they saw the falling of the tiles could be for the simple fact that the tiles are old and the glue holding them to the statue was decaying. Nate an outsider from America reported how chemist from Georgia were able to smuggle in chips from the tile and “analyzed” the chips to discover and scientifically prove that the tile did not fall due to a message from Nollop. Rather such as Nollops citizens predicted it was from a decaying of the tile’s glue due to old age.
Evidently, the situation of Nollop Island and the High Council lack of “critical thinking” they seem foolish and unreasonable in the eyes of everyone else and the Nollop citizens express repeatedly through their letters their concerns and anger to this foolishness. If the High Council would have just really analyzed the situation this whole absurdity would not have occurred proving how critical thinking is important and the more rational thing to do. During the time Dunn wrote this book technology was at its best with new inventions being announced frequently.
Bringing up Dunn’s other message in the book communication, or to be more precise the lack of communication. In this book, the letters start of lengthy and full of life and as the book goes on and the communications decreases the letter are shorted and people become unhappy. Dunn’s use of letters as a form of writing this book show effectively what the lack of communication does to people. In a way this is what technology does as well it shortens our communication with people which can lead to loneliness and avoidance of actual human interaction.
In the book when the tiles were falling and letters were being discarded this communication gap began in a way representing technology being our gap. As Ella wrote, “You were right about the fallout from this absurd law. Not only does it cripple communication between islanders, it builds rock walls between hearts. ” (Dunn 22) In the book not only did the letter get shorter the lack of communication prohibited by their absurd laws made the people unpleasant. They were lonely and made many people rather leave than live like this.
Communication is very important whether it be with a handwritten letter like the Nollop citizens our simply talking can really brighten ones day. However, we do not really see it for we have communication once it’s gone what would be of us. Yet the book the book is a great example of when this communication is lost one becomes separated alone and unhappy. Such as Ms. Townsgate who felt lonely without her family and did not communicate much with other eventually died. If we do not bother to communicate with others and are stuck in something like technology and taking away from being with other what would be of us.
Communication is important and we shouldn’t lose it by being lost in technology. In order to communicate effectively one needs to know and be knowledgeable on how to properly use language. If we can’t speak or write effectively communication is without a doubt gonna be a hurdle. Such is shown in the book, although Dunn purposely spelled words wrong and made mistakes he knew what he was doing. He did it to go along with the plot of the book and with his great ability to play with words this was not so hard on him to fulfill.
However, as a reader one can find it rather hard to understand his use of words due the lack of proper use of language. One good example of lack of proper language was this sentence from Ella’s letter to Mr. Warren, “Alto I no tat Nollop isn’t trewlee going awawe” (Dunn 187). When one reads this it is rather hard to understand unless you read and re-read it and even then its true meaning might not come to our attention. By doing so Dunn not only shows us that language is important and without we can not communicate effectively.
In the book he shows how because they couldn’t write or talk properly with all 26 letters of the alphabet it was hard to go by as Gwenette wrote to Mittie, “Slip of the tongue. Slip of the pen. All over town people hesitate,stammer, fumble of ways to express themselves, grip grasping about for linguistics conconctives to the serve the simplest of purposes. ” (Dunn 77) Simple tasks can become tedious like those in the Nollop Island we can’t just go pass it not only does it help us communicate it’s how we can express ourselves.
In the book, many of the characters due to the limiting use of letters they had this became a daily struggle as Mittie wrote to Gwenette, “The wine. Plus the loss of the grammatical unifier. It is all too much. ” (Dunn 76) Dunn not only tries to convey the reader of the importance of language but how fun it can be as well. He does not just try to make us understands his standpoints on language but it’s such a complex thing we need to value. He shows us his lengthy use of vocabulary in the book by choosing different words every time to go with the story.
Mark Dunn’s fictional book, Ella Minnow Pea as shown is not only this cute little fictional book but a book with a much a bigger purpose behind it. Dunn wanted us to be aware and understand what would happen if we lack language, communication and critical thinking. Without critical thinking we are irrational individuals and foresee things that can of much bigger importance. Things like in the book communication which is important as we can see in the book without it we are lonely and separate ourselves from other.
The language what separates us from animals if we do not value it and use it properly it can lead to much bigger problem such as communication. When Dunn wrote this book by using Episoltry not only was it a good choice it really made one as a reader have a much easier way to understand his main points. With the letters we saw how critical thinking affected others and how they think of one at a personal level as well how without communication one can be unhappy and language without it being used properly can be the end of that.