Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Beyond Expectations

I have had a lot of fun writing my research paper about the Phantom Tollbooth. I ended up deciding to focus on the importance of perspective in the novel, rather than identifying The Hero's Journey like I originally planned. To be more specific, my thesis was that "Milo saved the day not because he gained new knowledge, but because he gained new perspective." I made this change because I felt it was more close-to-home in my own mind and heart, and I figured it would make a more significant argument.

Here is a masterfully rendered video of me telling you what you just read:

And, for those curious fans of mine, this was my writing process

I had found plenty of examples of "perspective is more important than knowledge" in the book, so in a very rough-hewn way I slapped down as many as I could think of onto the page. Then I picked the ones that would tie together well, fleshed them out, rearranged them and polished them.

While I was doing all of that, I got feedback from my classmates (special thanks to Robbie!); I got ideas from people I had contacted on Goodreads and Facebook; and I found lots of useful articles and sources through BYU's Harold B. Lee Library website, lib.byu.edu. These sources of input helped me figure out what was most important to my paper and what I shouldn't care about so much, and I'm really glad because I had a lot of useless stuff in there to begin with.

In the end, I think the thing that helped me most to write the paper was my love for the subject. The Phantom Tollbooth has been a favorite book of mine for a long time, and I'm glad I finally got to sit down and take a more formal look at what makes me love it so much.

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