Many Readers Find I Am the Cheese to Be a Mind-Boggling, Deliberately Confusing Detective Story with No Real ‘Solution’, Written Far Beyond the Sophistication Level of Young Adults

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The novel I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier makes use of many sophisticated narrative and textual features as well as a twisting plotline. Due to this, many teenage readers find this novel confusing, pointless and unenjoyable. However there are a number of teenage readers who relate to, understand and even enjoy this novel. There are numerous reasons for this. The reasons for young adults not enjoying this novel are use of complicated narrative structure, textual features, vocabulary and the etymology of this, the context of this novel and the ever-changing plot. The reasons why I Am the Cheese should not be considered a mind-boggling, deliberately confusing detective story with no real ‘solution’ are its targeted audience, its purpose, plot and its benefits.

Many readers find I Am the Cheese mind-boggling, and deliberately confusing due to the style this novel is written in, mainly the narrative structure used. The novel I Am the Cheese is written from three perspectives, a third-person limited when Adam is retelling his memories and two first person voices during the taped interview. The constant switching between characters and keeping track of who is who can be very confusing. This will put many people off the novel.

The textual features used in this novel, particularly those relating to the narrative structure, used also create problems for the average reader. Strong use of descriptive languages in some parts then an instantaneous switch to long sentences of confusing, difficult to track dialogue. This is particularly obvious in the tapes of the interview when the reader must remember each character by only a letter. Also many of this descriptive language is rather heavy reading in places and this can make people who prefer a novel that is easy reading and can be read anywhere with no real drain of the mind to avoid I Am the Cheese.

Added to these problems is of course the problem of the ever-changing plotline. Many readers, particularly people...
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