A Literary Analysis

Gregor Mendel

A Literary Analysis by Tristan

A. Citation/Bibiliographic Entry

Bardoe, Cheryl. Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2006.


B. Reliability

I believe that this book to be reliable.   I researched the author, and though she’s only written the one book for young adults, she is a writer in her professional life.  She has written articles, press kits, and texts for museum exhibitions. The publishing company, Abrams Books for Young Readers, has been in business for over sixty years and is well known for exceptional books, being the first company to be established for illustrated books.

C. Category

_X___ Chronological Pattern  _X_ Main Character

·     This book, a non-fiction picture book, is written in a chronological pattern.  It teaches us about the important milestones in the life of Gregor, and presents them in a chronological order.  It also focuses on one main character, that of Gregor.   We learn about major events throughout his life and how his choices affected other people.

D.  Short Annotation

I actually quite enjoyed this book, not for the writing but more for the diagrams. The book seemed to make more sense than a video that I watched. I believe the goal of the book is to give glory to the man who discovered genetics.


E.  Point of View

This book is written from the 3rd person point of view.  Rather than saying he, or I, the author refers to the main character by name.

  •  “Surrounded by great thinkers, Gregor plunged into further studies.  He became ‘addicted to nature,’ he later wrote.”
  • Gregor learned how to test such laws with carefully planned experiments.”
  • “Gregor had something else in mind.”


F. Tense

This book was written in the past tense.

  • “Gregor knew that he must choose the plants for his experiment carefully.”
  • “After two years of preparation, Gregor was eager to start breeding his plants to make hybrids.”
  • “Gregor pondered these questions throughout the snowy winter.”


F. Literary Excellence

·     Sounds of Words 

  • 1.  alliteration – repeating the beginning consonant sounds in words
  • ·     “It was time to tell the world.”
  • ·     “His father was a hardworking farmer who hoped his only son would follow in his footsteps.”
    2. assonance – repeating similar sounds, especially vowel sounds
  • ·     “When Gregor retured to the abbey, the abbot asked him to teach science at a nearby school.”
  • ·     “To attend, he would have to eat and sleep there.”
  •  3. consonance – repeating similar consonant sounds, especially at the ends of words, as in lost and past or confess and dismiss.
  • ·     “Students liked Gregor’s clear expectations and lively sense of humor.”
  • ·     “Before beginning the tests,…”
  • ·     “Even when he was sick, Gregor never fell behind in his lessons.”

Choice of Words  

  • 1. litotes – understating for effect; e.g. no small victory; not a bad idea
  • ·     “He chose to feed his mind and go without food to fill his grumbling belly.”
  • ·     “At school, he feasted on his lessons.”
    2.  vocabulary – using precise nouns and verbs to describe scenes/emotions
  • ·     “’…strenuous…’”
  • ·     “’…exertions,’”

Arrangement of Words 

  • 1.  length of sentences – differing lengths to create a mood
  • ·     “Then Gregor waited. He would not remove the sacks until the flowers had been replaced by pea pods filled with seeds.”
    2.  repetition – repeating sounds, words or phrases for effect
  • ·     “…-smooth peas and wrinkled peas, yellow pea pods and green pea pods, smooth pea pods and bumpy pea pods, and so on.”
  • ·     “The yellow pea plants bred with green pea plants had yielded all yellow peas.”
  • ·     “In 1900, three different scientists, in three different countries, stumbed upon the paper that Gregor had published in 1865.”
  • 3.  appositives – inserting a phrase between a set of commas or dashes
  • ·     “Suddenly Gregor was seeing heredity—how parents pass traits down to their children—in an entirely new way.”
  • ·     “In 1900, three different scientists, in three different countries, stumbed upon the paper that Gregor had published in 1865.”

G. Connection
__X__ text to self   ___X__ text to world

My first connection is a text to world connection. This book reminded me of a video that I watched about genetics. In this video the speaker was saying how everybody thought that Aristotle was right about how traits mix; however, when Gregor studied the peas he discovered that the genes didn’t mix but rather one is dominant and one is recessive. Therefore a yellow pea with only yellow genes does not create a green pea. A yellow pea could have a gene to create a possible green pea from previous generations.

My second connection is a text to self connection. This also makes sense to me, none of my dad’s brothers are tall, however his dad is, and already I’m a good three inches taller than my dad. My mom isn’t tall either, so it’s not directly from her that I’m taller than them.

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