Prep Literary Elements

Prep Literary Elements



Setting and Context

Ault School, North Eastern USA, date never stated but thought to be the mid 1980s

Narrator and Point of View

Lee Fiora, narrating as an adult from her own perspective as an Ault student and teenager

Tone and Mood

Tone is similar to that of a memoir; somewhat bitter and resentful tinged with sadness

Protagonist and Antagonist

Lee is the protagonist, her Ault experience the antagonist

Major Conflict

Lee's conflict with Dede over her stubborn refusal to fit in; Lee's conflict with her parents over their determination to stand out as different from other Ault parents; Lee's eternal conflict with the system at Ault


Lee's interview in a national magazine that highlights all of the unfairness was she perceives at Ault and the reaction of her peers to what she has said.


As the journalist who is interviewing Lee is being very nice and ingratiating herself, gaining Lee's trust and persuading her to lower her guard, the reader is aware that this trust will be betrayed and the journalist is setting Lee up to make admissions that she would not want to see in print


Martha's success in being elected Senior Prefect alongside Cross was thought by Lee to be a little bit difficult and to slightly alter the balance of their friendship; in reality it makes a huge change in their friendship and Lee, who considered Martha to be an outsider like herself, feels betrayed by her friends acceptance of popularity which damages their closeness enormously


Lee sees her relationship with Cross Sugarman as a tragic love story like that of Romeo and Juliet


Gates Medkowski, a Senior, attains God-like status for Lee, who idolizes her and finds her life governed by what Gates might think, do or say


Although the premise of the novel is built around Lee's feelings of being an outsider, she has unknowingly become an insider, using the language of Ault students and looking at the outside world in exactly the same way the rest of the Ault community does


Lee's feelings of not fitting in are actually paralleled by her first room-mate, Dede Schwartze, whose fear of not fitting in propels her to over-fit, and try too hard to speak, act and dress like her friend Aspen

Metonymy and Synecdoche

"The School" is used a great deal to represent the teachers, governors and student body


Throughout the novel Ault School is personified, given the ability to be ashamed or proud of its students

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