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DIcey's Song by Cynthia Voigt - Book Report/Review Example

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The second installment of Cynthia Voigts's Tillerman family novels, Dicey's Song, follows the eldest of the Tillerman children as she moves to a new home and matures into a young adult. Throughout the novel, Dicey Tillerman proves that heroines of young adult fiction can be mature, considerate, even exemplary, and still seem quite real to the reader…
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DIceys Song by Cynthia Voigt
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Download file to see previous pages Dicey's progression from a girl broken by the loss of her mother and home, to a young woman with strength in who she is and a determined love for her family, can clearly be seen through the pages of the story. Through a strong desire to educate her young readers on the realities of life, Voigt employs different narratives, symbols and motifs to aid in the description of Dicey's linear journey into young adulthood.
One of the many ways in which Voigt captures the attention of her young readers is through her use of rituals and common factors that all children can empathize with and understand. For example, the vivid descriptions of Dicey's
day to day school life and the insecurities she feels towards other children are common among all adolescents. The use of common factors come into play heavily in the beginning of the novel as Dicey struggles with settling into a new home and new surroundings. As "in many psychological novels for children, a pattern unites several character's experiences. Rituals are used by children as a tool for bargaining, a mode for self-punishment and a shield from extreme abuse" (O'deal). Ultimately, they are used as a protective device during a crisis to assure youngsters that peace will be restored to their lives. Once stability is established, the need for ritual diminishes. A perfect example of ritual can be seen in Dicey's tireless efforts to work on the sailboat. In the beginning of the story, Dicey seems to always be thinking about the boat and what she can do to improve its condition, and likewise the condition of her life. The sailboat not only becomes a routine description in the story, it also becomes a part of Dicey's escape from realty. Her constant need to escape is brought to the reader's concern through the worry of her brother Sammy. Sammy's constant fretting around Dicey eventually causes her to see that she must find a balance between spending time with her family and working on the boat.
Dicey's pre-occupation with the sailboat is a common way in which children will deal with their problems. The reader can trace Dicey's development and maturity level as her interest in the boat deteriorates. By using this technique, the reader is able to feel connected with Dicey because they can understand her need to get away due to the fact that they have most likely felt the same way at one time or another.
The sailboat gradually becomes s symbol of Dicey's emotional growth. While Dicey may use the sailboat in a ritualistic was to escape reality in the beginning, her work begins to symbolize her ability to take care of herself as the story progresses. In the beginning, both Dicey's life and the boat appear to be
broken. The last name of Dicey and her siblings, Tillerman, is a direct connection to guiding a boat. Over time, the boat seems to stand as a symbol for Dicey's hopes and dreams. "The boat remains an unspoken dream throughout the book and only in the last few chapters does Dicey begin to imagine vividly, and in great detail, the act of sailing her boat" (O'deal). Many readers have interpreted the act of sailing the boat as a way of depicting Dicey's longing for freedom and change. By the end of the book it seems to symbolize her breaking away from the sorrow and insecurity that once plagued her.
Another way in which Voigt conveys the emotions and linear journey of Dicey is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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