My Sister's Keeper Literary Elements

My Sister's Keeper Literary Elements



Setting and Context

Rhode Island, 2004

Narrator and Point of View

The author uses first-person narration, but in a special way: this person isn’t single – all the main characters of the story are alternately the narrators here. Thus the author achieves the many-sided, objective expression of the events which take place in the plot, helps the reader to perceive the mood of the story more deeply.

Tone and Mood

The story isn’t written in one particular mood. That’s so because of different narrators telling it – their characters, emotions, attitudes to what was happening here or there determine the tone of that or that episode of the story. But in general, it doesn’t have pathetic features, its atmosphere is realistic and common to the reader.

Protagonist and Antagonist

At first sight it seems that the protagonist of the story is Kate and the antagonist is Anna, her sister, who didn’t want to help her in her treating. But in the end of the story, this assumption turns out to be completely wrong. The protagonists of the story are the Fitzgeralds and those people, who are related to them, and the main antagonist is Kate’s illness. The protagonists stubbornly struggle with it, and it seems that in the end of the story they win, if not to take into account the death of one of them – Anna.

Major Conflict

The major conflict takes place between Kate, all her relatives and her illness, which was like an assay of their willpower, braveness, closeness in family relations, readiness to help each other.


The culmination of the story takes place when Anna sues because she doesn’t want her parents and doctor to use her body like a material for treating her sister. Before this moment everything moved in a groove: Sara and Brian were saving their daughter in every possible way, but then Anna changed everything, she flushed out from the flow. Sara’s and Brian’s attitude to their children changed, the children’s relations changed, even Anna’s attorney’s life changed after that.


Many problems are raised in the book, and the author has definitely reached her goal to convey to the reader their importance. But all of the issues may be connected in one – Jodie Picoult tries to say the reader, that every moment of life is worth living, a man should appreciate these moments while they still take place, because once there will be time, when they will finish and won’t repeat anymore.




The author uses some allusions in the story thus making her text artistically deeper and semantically loaded. For example, the name of the book is taken from The Bible (with some changes). There Cain says to God: “…Am I my brother’s keeper?”Here Picoult answers this question in her way: yes, one sister is the keeper for another sister.


Imagery is widely used in descriptions of sufferings and inner emotional experience


The author uses this method when showing the relations between Kate and Anna. Anna sues, thus dooming her sister to death, but the sisters continue to be close and love each other after this. Only in the end of the story the author explains this paradox – Kate asked her sister to do it for her, for their family.


The author uses this method while picturing the events from different persons’ narrations. It helps to depict the story more objectively and deeply.

Metonymy and Synecdoche




Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

Update this section

After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.