Structure

The novel Normal People by Sally Rooney has a chronological plot structure. The story follows Marianne and Connell from their final year of secondary school until their final year of university. The novel starts in media res with Connell arriving at Marianne’s house to pick his mother up from work. 

The book is split into 18 chapters that are all named according to the time setting in two ways: in relation to the previous chapter, and with the date in brackets. For example, chapter 8 is entitled “Three Months Later (February 2012)” (p. 82).

The novel includes flashback scenes in almost every chapter, as Marianne and Connell think back to different moments in the past. For example, when Connell drives Marianne home from a party, and she apologizes for her behavior the previous nigh...

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