Fangirl Literary Elements

Fangirl Literary Elements


Young Adult Fiction

Setting and Context

Current time - 2014-16 - at college in Nebraska

Narrator and Point of View

Third person narrator (the author) telling events from Cath's point of view

Tone and Mood

Coming-of-age novel with teen angst and genuine sadness or anger

Protagonist and Antagonist

Cath is the protagonist; antagonists are her absent mother, fellow fiction-writing student Nick, and her own quirks and mental idiosyncrasies

Major Conflict

Cath and Wren stop speaking to each other over getting to know their mother and also over Wren's drinking


Cath reads The Outsiders to Levi which brings them closer and closer until they finally kiss each other


Wren's refusal to leave the bar with Cath and Levi when she is drunk foreshadows the escalation of her alcohol addiction and the alcohol poisoning that follows


Cath's father tells her that he has slipped a little with regard to looking after himself which is a vast understatement as his emotional state has unravelled completely resulting in hospitalization


There are many allusions referencing popular modern culture; for example Cath says that she cannot cut her hair like Wren's because "I couldn't Single White Female my own sister, an allusion to the film starring Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh in which Fonda's seemingly normal room-mate began stalking her, dressing like her and consuming her identity.
Similarly in chapter seven Levi tells Cath, "You're not the ugly one, you're just the Clark Kent", alluding to the character Superman who is a shy, unassuming man by day but when he takes off his glasses becomes a very attractive superhero whose physical beauty was not obvious at first.


Several times Levi brings Cath a personalized gingerbread latte which is warm and reassuring, like Levi; the coffee that he fetches her from the vending machine in the psychiatric hospital is stark and bland, and not at all reassuring, the coffee on both occasions used to set the mood and feeling of the people drinking it


Cath observes that it would be weird to their high school friends to see the twins apart but weird to their college friends to see them together. This shows the paradox between their "old" lives as children and their "new" lives as adults


The state of the fictional relationship between Simon and Baz parallels the state of any of Cath's relationships, as the way she feels about love and romance parallels the way in which she writes about it

Metonymy and Synecdoche

Professor Piper tells Cath that "the school" takes a dim view of plagiarism with "the school" representing the faculty and governors who write the rules and set the guidelines.


The hospital did not welcome visitors, the hospital personifying the attitudes of the staff at the psychiatric facility Cath's father is admitted to

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