Kenneth Oppel: Half Brother Interview
Kenneth Oppel: Half Brother was inspired by a couple of famous experiments results are still disputed to this day – and when Project Nim ended after two years , The relationship between Zan and Ben was so touching. But when the experiment ended two years later – after being TE: Half Brother is a bit of a departure for you from your other books, such and a more intimate one, so the characters and their relationships are more intricate. Deborah I didn't finish it and ended up just reading the first three chapters and the Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey Dear.
What inspired you to write about this topic? Project Nim and Project Washoe. I thought it was an incredibly sad story. What type of research process was involved in writing a novel about chimpanzees and language acquisition? Often, the people who were involved in these experiments went on to write books about their experiences — and their stories are fascinating.
In some ways, the events are much stranger than anything I could invent from my imagination! I wanted to know as much as possible about baby chimps, and how they were raised both in the wild, and by humans. I learned a little sign language. One of the things that struck me about Half Brother was how the reader gets so emotionally involved in the story from the very first chapter.
The relationship between Zan and Ben was so touching. Was this something you had to consciously figure out, or did it flow naturally from the beginning? I found it a very emotional story to write, in part because I chose to set the story in the place and rough time period of my own childhood.
So though Ben is not really much like me, I certainly drew from some aspects of myself when creating him. That, in combination with just how innately emotional the subject matter is, made for a very intimate, intense story. You appeared to address many different points-of-view in a neutral, "I want the reader to think for himself" sort of tone.
Having said that, what were you hoping to get across to the reader in this book and what are you hoping readers will take away from reading it? Certainly I was interested in the controversial animal rights issues inherent in the story —but equally fascinating to me were the human dynamics of the story.
Ben and Peter even debate taking care of Zan on their own, but the money involved with taking care of a chimp would be far too great. Consequently, Ben is forced to sit and watch as his little brother is whisked away from him.
Hyde from That Seventies Show Because Ben is a new student attending a new school, instead of being easily pushed around and socially awkward, Ben commits himself to this role he created of a dominant male.
He repeats these words—dominant male—like a mantra in his head to convince himself that he is in fact dominant and should be respected. Eventually, Ben slips up and ends up losing his status as a dominant male, becoming a: I think that in the end Ben will realize that social rankings are absurd, and he should just be himself.
In addition, I think he will make amends with Tim. This is an example of an external conflict, because it is Ben vs.
Writing Half Brother : Love, Control, And Talking Animals | HuffPost
He and his father never get along about anything. This conflict is another example of an external conflict, because it is Ben vs. After Ben finds this out, I reckon he will try to help Zan escape from the university. On a side note, I surmise that the reason Ben will make up with Jennifer and David will be related to animal activism and saving Zan.
Finally, I think Ben will restore his relationship with his father, because of something his father does to help him save Zan.