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An Abundance of Katherines

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message 1: by Tashi (new)

Tashi Sherpa (pulmunaryartery) | 14 comments In the book, An Abundance of Katherines, written by John Green, the author continuously flashes back to Colin's (the protagonist) past of his dating relationships, of his 19 GIRLFRIENDS. Though mainly highlighting the first and last girlfriends, the author hopes to make the reader both empathetic to Colin and also help develop background context to distinguish the actions made in the future...
By referring to Katherine XIX's basement and that particular day, Green expresses a sense of relationship with Colin and Hassan's present dilemma, the secret to get his girlfriend back, and the bigger picture; to solve a theorem of finding and exactly plotting the dating relationship of each and every couple, regardless of scenarios.
The mention of his date with Katherine I when he was a mere 8 years old talks about his social disability due to his brain, he was a child prodigy. The relationship started when the 8-year-old Katherine kept asking the repetitive 'why?' while Colin said scientific things that no ordinary kid his age would know. This resulted in a relation for a brief 2 minutes.
The revealing past also astonishes readers and once again downgrades Colin at the same time by making readers gape at the 19 times Colin dated someone NAMED KATHERINE, and failed. This can be related to his anagramming skills, and how for Katherine XIX he anagrammed her name dozens of times. By showing and revealing the love life of Colin, they display a negative, pessimistic feeling and mood as most readers disapprove of Colin's attempt to get a girlfriend, or solve the complex puzzle mankind has worried about for eons. The empathetic wave rushes in through the plot when Colin and Hassan meet Lindsey Lee Wells, who currently dates a boyfriend named Colin as well. This rushes through the sense to make Colin Singleton to finally have a girlfriend that does not begin with the first name of Katherine. Though on a drastic and ominous journey, Colin learns the formula to his problem, which clicks in due to his past relationships, who respectively fall in the outliers of his equation. Without Colin's past experiences, Colin would've stayed at home, graduated happily, and have Hassan at home, not working, for ever. By the refresher of this knowledge, the reader has both negative and positive thoughts on the protagonist, Colin Singleton...

message 2: by Samama (new)

Samama M. | 9 comments Adding on to Tashi, "An Abundance Of Katherines" basically elaborates on the idea that Colin Singleton (Suprising, Colin is always going to end up single and so so is his last name) is an average young man until you realize that during his entire lifetime, he has dating a total of 19 girls, all with the name of Katherine. He had also been a child prodigy, that has been waiting for his fame to roll right in as soon as he recieves his "eureka" moment which he is hoping is not too soon from now. Tashi already gave a pretty good summary of what is going on in the text so far, but to reitteriate, Colin is obsessed with reading, learning new languages, and anagramming. Colin is a very interesting character in the story because although we would expect a child prdigy to embrace and be proud of being a child prdigy, Colin finds it super important to prove to himseld that he's not some washed up prodigy, so he reads and studies all the time. His best friend Hassan, on the other hand, hasn't even registered for college yet and is perfectly happy sitting around wasting time as his parents brag that he is the most perfect son that does everything he's supposed to as a mature and approprate man. Later in the story, Hasan takes Colin on a roadtrip in hopes to take his mind of the million breakups he's been through, where he meets Lindsey as the tour guide and Colin begins to grow closer to her.
John Green writes his story quite differently compared to most other authors. For one, he provides an abundance of footnotes. Not only does this enable the reader to be able to understand the meaning of words without having to turn to a dictionary every 5-6 pages, but it also allows John Green as the author to go more creative and use different languages in his text to build the characters' personalities without the worry that the reader will get extremely lost and and have no idea what the story is saying. Green goes off to accomplish this by having Colin show off his impressive mastery of different languages and incorporates humor by having Hasan say prayers and comment on Colins' love behavior in Arabic. Green also uses a lot of graphs, (especially parabolas) to not only provide the reader with another source to help them understand the reading better, but also helps with engaging the readers because the graphs he portrays incorporate humor as they represent the comparison between the feelings and emotions among the dumpers and the dumpees.
Some other techniques that John Green incorportes in this book that are more common among most books are humor, stirring empathy and adding irony. Green uses humor by having Hasans' parents describe Hasan as the most perfect son that does nothing innaproprate, stays out of love and does everything he is supposed to, but once he steps out of the house and into the road with Colin, he immedieadtly turns into a whole new person, cursing every curse out there, falling in love with a girl he just met and even considering ditching college. Green also stirs empathy because he makes Colin seem like a desperate and sad character for having to be dumped so many times, with no faith that he will find one Katherine in his life that will love him forver. Furthermore, all 19 times, he had been the dumpee instead of the dumper, making the situation much worse and making his life seem like a sad story. Finally, Green incorporates irony by having Lindsey help Colin when he was injured instead of Hassan. During the tour, Colin fell and was badly injured, and when he needed pressure put on his head where blood was oozing out nonstop, we all depened on Hassan, as his best friend and the male to take off his shirt and place pressure on the injury. However, he refused to in embarressment of his body and so Lindsey who was the stranger was left to take off hers and save Colin.

message 3: by Arindam (new)

Arindam Saha | 10 comments Adding on to both Samama and Tashi, An Abundance of Katherines is a book that teaches about love and the grief of losing someone. This can be shown throughout the whole book, where Colin Singleton is going over memories of him and his 19 girlfriends, and how he always got dumped by them and cried over it. These girlfriends dumping him got him very depressed and he felt like he wasn't good enough for anyone. This led him to the ultimate search of the formula that predicted the length of a relationship and how effective it will be. This is also emphasized throughout the book with a LOT of footnotes, and graphs resembling quadratics that Colin has come up with to find the equation. He, along with his friend Hassan, took a road trip to Gutshot, Tennessee to find the grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and meet Lindsey, the tour guide.
So far in the book, Colin Singleton is a child prodigy who has dated 19 girls all named Katherine. He recently got dumped by the nineteenth one, which he calls Katherine XIX. He has a friend named Hassan, who is lazy and funny. Colin wants to find the ultimate formula which predicts the length and strength of the relationship, in order to achieve revenge for all the times he has been the dumped one. With Hassan, he goes to Tennessee to find the grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to help him with finding the formula. Along the way he finds Lindsey, who is the tour guide, whom Colin started to have a strong relationship with.

message 4: by Anurag (new)

Anurag Kar | 7 comments Adding on to everyone, "An Abundance of Katherines" by John Green is set in a third person perspective (but mainly focused on Colin and his adventures), mainly being revolved around Colin (a child prodigy) and all of the 19 girlfriends that he has had. All of them are known as "Katherine." When Colin was 8, he started to talk with a girl named, well Katherine where he talked about even though he was a child prodigy because of that he had a social disorder/disfunction. The author mainly talks about the first and last Katherine, but never in between.
He has recently gotten broken up with the 19th Katherine, also known as Katherine XIX. After recently graduating from high school, his friend Hassan encourages that he and Colin go ahead on to a road trip so that Colin can take his mind off off Katherine XIX and the breakup.
Colin seeks for his "eureka" moment while going on the road trip and hopefully become a genius that his parents wanted him to be.
They reach Tennessee, they reach the resting place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and they find Lindsey Lee Wells.
The book uses techniques such as third person, to show an overall view of everything, and also includes footnotes. For example, one of the footnotes had some sort of chart/graph, while some of them simply give the definition of a highlighted word.

message 5: by Samama (last edited Feb 06, 2017 04:51PM) (new)

Samama M. | 9 comments As I progressed through the book, i've noticed how a lot has changed within the storyline itself and the characters. This far in the book, Colin is working on creating an equation called the "Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability" which he had worked on almost every night while he was in Gutshot, and finally succeeded in solving it when he realizes that he broke up with Katherine #3, and it was not the other way around. His whole life has been based on the fact that he gets dumped, so he's tremendously shocked when he makes this discovery. Also, Hassan and Katrina start dating, as Colin and Linsdey begin getting closer together.
One major change I observed with the characters is with Hassan and his decisions. When he left on the road trip, he left as an inncoent, appropriate and a typical son of strict parents, no dating, no bad words and always strive for the right thing to do. However, going to the road trip changed the way he acted, becaus eit gave him a sense of freedom that promoted him to start cursing more often, and start dating because to him, these were the things that made life worth living. Similarily, Colin also changed from this road trip because he came into realization that you can not devote your life into focusing on the past, or sticking to traditions that will slowly break you until you have nothing left. Colin realized this by discovering that he had been so sucked into his memories of being dumped by his multiple Katherine girlfriends, that he never offered himself the oppurtinity to recapture the one time he was the dumper. This memory gave him hope and the oppurtunity for an easier future with girlfriends, and it wouldve been a little bit better if he only realized this long before he actually did. being with Linsdey (which for once, is not a Katherine) allowed Colin to feel free and much happier than he ever was with any Katherine. So therefore, this change was a great impact in his life.
A change in the storyline that i dicovered was that John Green is incorporating mroe irony by presenting events that the reader would not expect. For one, I thought that Hassan and Colin would help eachother and stick by eachother across the entire trip because they had been friends for such a long time, so no matter what gets in the way, it must be obvious that friends that close will stay. However, as the girls (Lindsey and Katrina) came in, Colin and Hassan were being drawn farther apart from eachother, making it hard to predict what will happen next in the story.

message 6: by Arindam (new)

Arindam Saha | 10 comments Adding on to Anurag about the idea of the Point of View, John Green's use of a 3rd person perspective adds more depth into the story and the ways the characters are being developed over the plot of the story. Green uses a omniscient style of writing, where the reader knows what most of the characters are thinking in the story. For example, Colin's view on his break-ups are pretty deep, as shown in the scene where he and Katherine XIX break up. He described as heart breaking, and he thought to himself about what just happened. This adds to the depth of feeling and really shows Colin's perspective of breaking up for the nineteenth time. Also, the author shows an excellent character depth of the character Hassan, who is Colin's best friend. For example, Hassan's sarcasm and humor aids to deliver his personality, and also gives Colin a feeling of the fact that he's not alone in the world. Green also gives insight on Colin's parents, who wants Colin to be a genius since he is a child prodigy.
Now to add to Samama's idea of techniques used, these techniques could also add to the idea of character depth. For example, Hassan's quirky and weird behavior describes what kind of guy he is. Also, the million (exaggeration) footnotes that Green supplied us with also adds depth to Colin, as the footnotes give a jump to the head of Colin and supplies us with whatever he is thinking.

message 7: by Anurag (last edited Feb 06, 2017 07:47PM) (new)

Anurag Kar | 7 comments To add on, to Arindam, John Green does use an omniscient third-person style of writing. In the book, you can see many things that Colin or Hassan won't see, and the author, John Green, has the right to travel back in time and talk about previous experiences, such as Colin and him finding out about an "eureka!" moment, or his previous relationships with Katherines. Unlike third person limited, the narrator doesn't only know the thoughts or feelings of one character. However, in this book we can tell it is omniscient since the narrator and the reader knows everything. Green used third person omniscient to create empathy for Colin. One other strategy mentioned many times was footnotes, to show Colin's inner though and how his mind works/what he is thinking.
Adding on to the idea of depth of each character, Green shows Colin as an extremely intelligent person who seems to think he can find an equation/theroem to solve his problem with of breakups with the "Katherine's", while he has a laid back friend, Hassan, who consistently tells him to get over the breakup.

message 8: by Tashi (new)

Tashi Sherpa (pulmunaryartery) | 14 comments Just to clarify to my group members, the omniscient third person point of view in John Green's novella expresses clear thoughts about the author and the character, Colin Singleton, in a nutshell. By encasing third person omniscient view, the book doesn't enscope a genre of one as a horror or thriller, but instead enscopes a funny comedy genre as the reader often knows the next action while Colin doesn't. For example, by listing the road trip perspective towards both Hassan watching Judge Judy and reccomending it as well as Colin's deep analysis shows a context of understanding the background itself. Therefore, the theorem that takes place in the middle of the novella is provided with enough information to the knowledgable reader in order to grasp the thought. Also, the author refers to historical contexts in the footnotes, which also highlights a third person omniscient view as it outlines the American and world's history, as well as outlying the unusual path of Colin Singleton, kid going into college who was dumped 18 times by a girl named Katherine...
Though most of my group members claim that the book enscopes a huge omniscient third person point of view throughout the text, I would like to politely disagree to this claim. Though it is apparent that in the beginning the text was amok with third person omniscient point of view, I would also like to reiterate that the text on the later talks in a third person limited point of view. Firstly, though the text consistently never uses I, or me, but uses names, doesn't reveal the surprise when Hassan's supposed 'girlfriend' was cheating on him on the Archduke's grave. Colin Singleton, though the prodigy he is, was oblivious as well. Also, Colin did not know about the aftermath if he told Lindsey about her boyfriend, TOC, cheating on him. The aftermath was Colin having a face smash and Hassan having a tabacco lip. The earlier part sure encompasses omniscience, though the later proves to be very mysterious with a limited point of view.
A reason why the author would provide with a limited point of view is to stir tension, as well as add a new setting for Colin and Hassan, who were wandering nomads throughout the book, which makes them feel right at home. On the aftermath, Lindsey becomes Colin's girlfriend, which limits Colin to a place at last.

message 9: by Tashi (new)

Tashi Sherpa (pulmunaryartery) | 14 comments An Abundance of Katherines has many aspects into its making; including the character structure that supports it's foundation. The characters in An Abundance of Katherines are diverse within the last degree, as each one has a distant past that cannot be etched into stone with another. Thus, it's one of a kind.
The character Colin Singleton, for example, is a round and dynamic character. This is proven multiple times as Colin has mixed feelings about his theroem and his relationships with 19 Katherines as he phone calls Katherine 3 to find the truth of who dumped who. Colin also wondered about Lindsey, and why did she use a chameleon tactic amongst all the people who loved her to make them attracted to her, like a magnet. Lindsey used a southern accent to the oldeners, and acted like a dumb popular girl in front of the other Colin, a.k.a TOC. Dynamic means changing throughout. Colin was always a self-centered kid who didn't let his friend, Hassan, talk about HIS issues, but rather always fessed and piped about his girlfriend dilemma, which proves his behavior. This is influential to his background as being a child prodigy with an IQ above 200, and also being a kid who doesn't have much friend, thus having one friend to confess all his secrets instead of many friends but fessing a portion each.
Lindsey Lee Wells is a static and round character. Though many would and will disagree with the static of her role, and argue that is dynamic, static means not changing. Lindsey might turn into Colin's girlfriend, but she did not change emotionally and thus uses her same conscience throughout the book. To begin with, she always argued with her mother and strongly disagreed with her opinions. But when Hollis, her mother, sold the whole company in a sense of keeping jobs, and explained she did it because of the deflation of the business itself, but even then Lindsey argued. She also admitted later on that she wasn't really in love with TOC, but dated him to achieve one of the many bucket list ideas she wanted. This is unchanging as she happily breaks up with him. She is round though, which means she has many contradicting thoughts constantly whirling in her head. She hesitated when she was showing the secret hideaway to Colin Singleton, thinking otherwise since it was her secret place. Also, when she led Colin Singleton away NOT for aiming at feral hogs practice, she did it to show him something, which took some courage.
Hassan is a round yet static character. Hassan was and still is a joking character throughout the book. Though he is fat, he managed to get a girlfriend within 3 weeks in Gutshot. Even when Hassan found that he was dumped and cheated on by Katrina, he didn't really care, like his overall personality, and thus reverted to his original mold. Hassan is round due to his nagging concern of his friend's self centeredness as he constantly talked about Katherines over the years, while Hassan always thought, and did deep down, that he was a obese fat guy who had no destiny to obtain a girlfriend in his lifetime. This made him angrily burst outrageous curses and mocks at Colin, thus leading them to the place where Katrina and TOC were making out, cheating on both Lindsey and Hassan. Again, Hassan changed by ignoring his previous fight, and saying a word meaning record in Arabic, thus leading to the bust of Katrina and TOC, and Lindsey being Colin's girlfriend.

message 10: by Tashi (new)

Tashi Sherpa (pulmunaryartery) | 14 comments By the way, we have to obtain another novel on Friday due to the occuring snowstorm that is blockading access to the school. Are we reading another of John Green's books? If we are, please no Papertowns... Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska is fine. I read Papertowns already...

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