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In the book titled Illumination Night Alice Hoffman has clearly defined each character attributing to them the most unique and distinctive traits but giving enough elbow room for parallelism between them As the characters struggle with family relationships social acceptance restriction and betrayal they are forced to cooperate with one another they cant afford to be nasty to each other when the live on an island No matter where they go theyre bound to run into each other Illumination 35 The novel goes on to detail six interlocking and often colliding lives some of which include Vonny an agoraphobic mother who didnt use to think twice about mixing Valium and ginI14 Simon Vonnys four year-old boy who has never heard the word death and refuses to be any older until he is tallerI36 Jody a teenage girl who has always been well practiced at manipulationI31 and The Giant a beautiful freak whos height put an end to his parents marriageI117 Even though the characters seldom speak to one another about what matters the most to them they echo one another in their thoughts and actions Between the Giant and Simon there is a wordless empathy that is shared one that is able to help both accept their identity and their height Vonny turns to the pets in her house as a source of empathy Vonny also shares common characteristics and traits with Jody which help both of them deal with the everyday burdens of life The characters in Illumination Night were written so uniquely yet they often mirror each other as they are representative of the same theme of empathetic reliance The importance of these connections gives Hoffmans novel a point of centralization a common ground where her characters were allowed to flourish and develop into the remarkable figures that she had set out to accomplish Simon and The Giant share an identity problem although they are willing to accept who they are and
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