The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give Literary Elements


young adult fiction

Setting and Context

The novel is set in the fictitious urban neighborhood of Garden Heights as well as the wealthier suburbs surrounding the city, circa 2017.

Narrator and Point of View

The narrator is Starr Carter, a 16-year-old African-American girl living in Garden Heights and attending Williamson Prep school. It's in the first-person viewpoint.

Tone and Mood

Starr's witty, sarcastic, and upbeat social commentary gives the novel an optimistic tone in the face of tragedy. However, the book also has undertones of anger at the oppressive systems that its characters must fight against each and every day.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonist is Starr; the antagonists are Officer Cruise, King, and more broadly racism and gang violence in general.

Major Conflict

The major conflict is between Starr and herself as she struggles to speak up and fight for Khalil. Another major conflict occurs between the book's African-American characters and the racism and brutality they face.


The climax of the novel occurs when King sets Maverick's store on fire; ultimately, Starr and the others manage to escape, and King is arrested.


Starr's concern over what to do if a police car stops her foreshadows Khalil's subsequent shooting. The innate bad feeling that Starr and Lisa get about the police department's investigation into Officer Cruise foreshadows the jury's decision not to indict.



The novel's title, The Hate U Give, is an allusion to a Tupac song.




Metonymy and Synecdoche