“Top 10” List for The Tenth Circle By: Jodi Picoult
1. "Desperation can do amazing things to a person." (293) This quote explains the entire theme of the book. The plot is based on Jason raping Trixie, which was caused by Trixie’s desperate desire for attention. Another important part in the plot is when Laura kills Jason which is based on her trying to seek revenge for Trixie. Each character in the book makes decisions without thinking which majority of the time end badly.
2. Trixie Stone is the main character in the book. She has two personalities, before the rape, and after. Before the rape Trixie is a fun and social high school student who has just been dumped by her boyfriend, Jason Underhill. Although she is considered “popular” Trixie only has one close friend, named Zephyr. After Trixie is raped she becomes some what of a loner. She drops out of school for a month and when she returns all of her friends have turned against her. The only contact she has with people are her parents and she attempts to avoid them as much as possible. Trixie also cuts her wrists due to the emotional pain she feels from the rape, which leads to her attempted suicide.
3. Daniel Stone is Trixie’s father, and a key component to the story. He is a quiet man who seems to never get angry. “It was against human nature to be that calm, like he was some kind of Stepford dad who couldn't be provoked”(279). But later on in the book the reader finds out that Daniel has a troubled past. He grew up in Alaska where he was made fun of for being the only white child. Then he became anti-social and angry, eventually leading to him killing a friend and fleeing the state.
4. Laura Stone is Daniels’s wife, and Trixie’s mother. She is significant in the story because she murders Trixie’s ex-boyfriend, Jason. She is a professor for a local college where she specializes in teaching a class on the book, Dante’s Inferno. Due to problems at home Laura begins to cheat on Daniel with one of her students, Seth. The affair continues for about a year until Trixie’s rape, when Laura realizes she is tearing her family apart.
5. Jason Underhill is significant in the story because he creates the plot in the book when he rapes Trixie. Jason is your stereotypical jock. He was known throughout the town for being the all-star hockey player who was going to carry the school’s team to state. Jason also dated Trixie Stone, but after a year together, he broke up with her. Shortly after that, he attacked and raped Trixie, which lead to his murder.
6. The main setting of the book is in the small town of Bethel, Maine, during the winter. This is where the Stone’s live and where Trixie attends high school. The book also takes place in Akaik, Alaska, where Daniel grew up as well as where Trixie runs away too. The contrast of these settings helps the reader to notice shifts in the plot as well as changes in the characters mind sets. The settings are significant because they play a key role in creating the plot.
7. The books plot is very twisted. It begins with Jason’s decision to break up with Trixie. Trixie is so distraught about the break up that Jason takes advantage of her and rapes her. She then decides to press charges against Jason, and Detective Mike Bartholomew is brought in to prove Jason is guilty. Jason’s life begins to spiral out of control and he is suddenly murdered. Once Trixie realizes that she is a suspect in the murder she runs away. After the Stones realize Trixie is missing, they look through her room for clues to find out where she went. Daniel realizes that Trixie has run away to Alaska, where he grew up. As the Stones travel to Alaska Detective Bartholomew tries to get a DNA match between a Trixie’s hair, and a hair found in Jason’s watch. After having multiple tests preformed, Bartholomew finally is able to issue a warrant for Trixie’s arrest. Mean while Trixie has arrived in Akaik, Alaska and assumed the identity of one of the Jesuit Volunteers for the K300 Dog Sled Race. After days of traveling Daniel finds Trixie at the same time as the police. Daniel and Laura admirably try to take the blame for Trixie, but one Bartholomew questions them he realizes that Laura killed Jason.
8. The most significant event in the book is when Trixie admits to her dad that she never told Jason no, when they had sex. She also admits that she brought and took the drugs that showed up in he system that night. This is significant because it proves that Trixie made up the entire rape and that Jason in innocent.
9. Trixie faces the largest internal conflict of all the characters in the story. She knew that Jason did not rape her that night but can’t seam to bring herself to tell the truth. As she watches Jason’s life crumble before her eyes, she remains silent. At the end of the book Trixie finally confesses to her father that Jason did not rape her. This is significant because it show the reader that Trixie made up the entire rape to attempt to get back at Jason for breaking up with her. It also shows the reader that Trixie was willing to do anything to get Jason back.
10. Love is a reoccurring motif through out the book. When Daniel and Laura travel across the country to find Trixie it is out of love. When Laura pushes Jason over the bridge she does it because she loves her daughter and wants her to be able to move on in her life. Another example is when Trixie runs away. She loves her family so much that she feels she has to run away in case the police come after them. Lastly the greatest act of love in the entire book is when Laura and Daniel both say that the killed Jason to protect their daughter. Love is significant because it drives majority of the important actions done in the book.