Shades of Simon Gray Nabila alqaDumi, hannah kim, anica park

Theme: The theme of Shades of Simon Gray is that love blinds us. When Simon joined the project, he only did it because of Devin, with whom he was madly in love. He even admits that if he was given a second chance to join the project or not, he says that he would join it, just for Devin. But, even though Simon loves Devin, Devin does not love him back, and is already dating Kyle. Also, the project leads to Simon's depression and possible suicide, when he does not slam the brakes as he is driving into the Liberty Tree.

Although Devin does not do anything directly to hurt Simon, her existence and his love for her have him end up crashing into the tree and leaving him in a coma.

Joyce McDonald does not apply this theme to the present setting of this book; it applies to the past setting of Havenhill too. Jessup Wildemere, a well-to-do man that is hardworking and kind, is hanged for a bloody murder. He didn't commit the murder at all, as Simon finds out. It is Hannah Dobbler, Jessup's love interest. Hannah had tricked Jessup into waiting at a certain spot with the blood all over him, and it leads the townspeople straight to him, accusing him of killing her father when it was her. Jessup does not even argue, and quietly went to be hanged.He was so madly in love with her that he blamed the murder on himself, out of love to Hannah. So, both Simon and Jessup were blinded by their love for Devin and Hannah, and it led to their demise.

Danny Giannetti is Kyle's best friend and the third member of the project. He is described as a jock, and is not very smart, because he starts getting nervous when thinking about having to get good grades without cheating. He had messed up when tried to print the test. He is caring, but conceited. He goes back and forth between caring about Simon and caring about himself. He doesn't want Simon to die, but at the same time he doesn't want to get caught for cheating. He believes that "You didn't have to play the game, you just had to know how to win it," (McDonald, 15). He is afraid of birds. He does track at school. He has dark hair that is tipped blonde. He tries hard to be cool. Danny has an older sister named Marni, who is a mechanic.

Courtney is Simon Gray's little sister. She is a freshman in high school. Ever since her mom died, she hasn't had the best relationship with her father. She smokes marijuana to cope with her relationship with him. She hates hospitals, because her mother died in one and she doesn't trust the doctors. Courtney has blonde hair. Courtney cares about Simon and feels as if Simon wasn't there she would go crazy. She isn't anything like her brother. In the text, Courtney said, "Although she would never admit it, sometimes Courtney thought Simon was all that stood between her and loony bin. He was the buffer between her and their father," (McDonald, 39) This shows her relationship with her brother and her father. She also called Simon "Simon the Good" or "Saint Simon" because he was very smart and well behaved.

Simon Gray, Devin McCafferty, Danny Giannetti and Kyle Byrnes are all a part of the "Project." They hack into school computers and print out the tests and quizzes. Stuff like this happens all the time in real life and we found some examples in articles.

This article talks about kids in school and cheating. "Sixty to 70% of high school students have admitted to cheating." (The Atlantic) this shows how common cheating is. This student in this article had cheated all throughout highschool and became a valedictorian, national AP scholar, and accepted into honors programs. "'To most educators, my story is a disgrace to their system; I'm the one who got away,'" (The Atlantic) this shows how cheating made his life better, but affected him in a bad way. His opinion on this is, "It boils down to this: we are told cheating is wrong because we are attempting to earn a grade we do not deserve. A grade earned on cheating is not a grade reflective of our true achievement. But my contention uses identical reasons. I cheated because the grade I would have been otherwise given was not reflective of my true learning," (The Atlantic) This is his perspective on why he cheated.

This article talks about a girl named Megan, and how she notices cheating going on all around her at school. "They copied each other's papers, wrote answers on their shoes, and forged notes to take extra time on tests," (Challenge Success) this shows certain ways people cheat on tests. All of Megan's friends were cheating and she wasn't, but her friends would ask her too which relates to Kyle, Danny and Devin because Simon only did the project because of Devin. "She wanted to do the right thing, but felt like she was in a situation where it was 'cheat or be cheated'," this shows how important and common cheating is.

Biblical allusions: The crows are like the locusts in the Bible. They annoy the residents and suck the feeling out of the people of Bellehaven, and bring sadness and tragedy with them. Like how the 10 plagues were a punishment from God to the Egyptians, the crows appear after Simon's death, and are like a punishment to the people of Bellehaven for being so ignorant and not noticing anything wrong with the "perfect child." On page 50, "If she walked on the sidewalk the crows- feathery black clouds of them, hovering in the branches of elms along Meadowlark drive- would cover her with her droppings." The locusts in the Bible are described covering the fields in swarms, and the crows are described as swarms covering the streets.

A crow

Another biblical allusion is the West Nile Virus. In the Bible, the Egyptians got covered in boils. Although the two illnesses are not the same, they both hold the same meaning. They are both ways that the people were punished, like the crows and locusts. But, unlike the crows, this affects the people directly, like how Devin's grandmother got the disease. "Devin's eyes filled with tears as she lifted her grandmothers limp hand and pressed it to her cheek."(136) Devin was a huge member of the project, since she was the reason Simon joined. This is her punishment for dragging an innocent younger kid into the heartless and guilt filled world of cheating.

The Nile

Thanks for viewing!

Love, Pandora


Created with images by Espen Klem - "Wooden table" • Unlisted Sightings - "So, how high do you really want to be? #trek #malana #marijuana #himachal" • Tobyotter - "Crow" • zolakoma - "Nile" • edofs1 - "cat fold view"

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