Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

by Garry Kilworth

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Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby Liz » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:49 am

pg. 217:

‘No,’ admitted Chloe, biting her lip. ‘We’ve seen movements, out of the corner of our eyes, but I thought that was just an overactive imagination—along with the funny light up here.’ She was a little upset to realize that an Ariel might be here in the attic and it was Jordy and not her who was aware of him. The attic could be a little spiteful in that way: revealing things to those who had no interest in them, while others yearned to see such sights. How contrary was this land of boards and rafters. It played with its visitors like toys.

I wondered what she was talking about, so I looked it up:

Ariel (pronounced /ˈɛəriəl/) is a fictional sprite who appears in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. Ariel is bound to serve the magician Prospero, who rescued him from the tree in which he was imprisoned by Sycorax, the witch who previously inhabited the island. Prospero greets disobedience with a reminder that he saved Ariel from Sycorax's spell, and with promises to grant Ariel his freedom. Ariel is Prospero's eyes and ears throughout the play, using his magical abilities to cause the tempest in Act one which gives the play its name, and to foil other character's plots to bring down his master.

The source of Ariel's name and character is unknown, although several critics have pointed out his similarities to the Ariel mentioned in Isaiah chapter 29 in the Bible. The name means "Lion of the Lord", in this sense. Ariel may also be a simple play on the word "aerial". Scholars have compared him to sprites depicted in other Elizabethan plays, and have managed to find several similarities between them, but one thing which makes Ariel unique is the human edge and personality given him by Shakespeare.


Was the attic contrary & spiteful? Did it have a character of its own?
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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby Theresa » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:21 am

Thanks for posting that mini tidbit, Liz. I'll confess that when I read this part, my first thought was of Ariel, the Little Mermaid. :blush: It didn't make sense why Chloe would think a Disney mermaid would be in the attic...but that's the only Ariel I could think of! I suppose if you could have Punch and Judy gliding along the floorboards, why not a little mermaid, too? :biggrin:

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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby Liz » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:25 am

My first thought was of the Little Mermaid too. But that didn't make sense to me. So I had to look it up.
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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby trygirl » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:05 am

Perhaps the attic is a little contrary and spiteful. When Chloe says, "It plays with its visitors like toys," I am reminded of all things inhabiting the attic. The place is full of things which people once trifled with and then discarded when they had no further use for them. Inanimate objects that once had a purpose, store mannequins, utensils, dolls, are no longer valued and cast aside. Maybe all that negative energy has made the attic vengeful, giving it a life of its own. The attic developed a personality. It now shows human qualities, which are evident when the bortrekker reveals if you're good to it, it'll be good to you. The attic is alive like all the other creatures. It just needs to be treated with the respect it deserves.
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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby Theresa » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:56 pm

I definitely believe the attic had a character of its own. It would reveal and hide areas without apparent rhyme or reason.

I know Chloe was upset that the attic hid the dust sprites from her, but I think it's also possible she didn't see them because she was such a focused young woman. She was on a mission and Alex was in the process of transforming himself...but Jordy was just a laid-back kind of guy who kind of let the happenings in the attic flow around him. I think that may be why he was more open to seeing the sprites than Chloe and Alex.

And then again, the attic might have just been being spiteful.
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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:34 pm

I am not sure I can what is on my mind without going into forbidden territory. :whistle: My thoughts have to do with what the attic really is, because I don't believe it was real, and it might have all manner of different personalities depending on the people who go there.

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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:17 pm

My feeling was that the attic was a bit spiteful and mean spirited but trygirl has a point that it is a reflection of the negative energy stored there. It seemed to lure the characters in with something pretty and tempting only to have it turn ugly (in most cases anyway). The explorers certainly never felt that they could let down their guard completely.

Theresa, your thoughts sort of flow into where I think nebraska is going...it was different for each person who experienced it?

nebraska, go ahead and give us your theory!
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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:22 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:My feeling was that the attic was a bit spiteful and mean spirited but trygirl has a point that it is a reflection of the negative energy stored there. It seemed to lure the characters in with something pretty and tempting only to have it turn ugly (in most cases anyway). The explorers certainly never felt that they could let down their guard completely.

Theresa, your thoughts sort of flow into where I think nebraska is going...it was different for each person who experienced it?

nebraska, go ahead and give us your theory!
:cool:


I think the attic was pure imagination on the part of one or all of the children, a way to entertain themselves, a way to work out the issues of adolescence. That was why time stood still and why the normal laws of nature and space did not apply and why the option to leave was always on the table. So whether the attic was spiteful or not depended on the particular mind in which the action was happening. Rather than being spiteful, I think it was being challenging, representing whatever emotional hurdle the child was trying to work through.

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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby Bix » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:25 pm

I felt the attic was a character in its own right. I agree with what you have all said about its moods. I also thought of the spectacular storms and the frigid draughts, the sunlight and the stars through the high windows, etc, as expressions of Attica itself, not some other wizardry. But I agree too, nebraska, that there could be many facets to it depending on who was doing the observing. But I am a lore, legend and magic lover, so I can't agree with your imagination theory! :lol:
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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:27 pm

Very interesting! But you would reconcile the actual physical souvenirs they each came home with?

I was wondering if it presented itself differently to different people, using worlds that were meaningful to the individual.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:01 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Very interesting! But you would reconcile the actual physical souvenirs they each came home with?

I was wondering if it presented itself differently to different people, using worlds that were meaningful to the individual.


They may have gone into a "real" attic and that spurred the imagination -- but brought trinkets down from the "real" attic.

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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby deppaura » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:47 pm

Is Attica the protagonist in this story? Hope it's o.k. to mention Mr. Grantham, somewhat of a sorcerer. He sent the children on this adventure, albeit with some concern, He KNEW the attic. I am reminded of myths, stories throughout time with age old messages regarding passages through life. At times, Attica seemed cathedral, spiritual. Myths deal with rewarding challenges. Go through the dark to see the light. Was Attica the big bad world? The unknown in a child's mind? The children certainly held up to the test. Anyway I found it fascinating, even with the negativity. I'd love to hear a young persons take on the story.

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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:12 pm

nebraska wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Very interesting! But you would reconcile the actual physical souvenirs they each came home with?

I was wondering if it presented itself differently to different people, using worlds that were meaningful to the individual.


They may have gone into a "real" attic and that spurred the imagination -- but brought trinkets down from the "real" attic.


I get it. I was thinking you meant the attic was existed in their heads only. :dunce: That sort of goes along with my thinking that you were lured to different parts of the attic depending on what issues you needed to face and resolve.

deppaura wrote:Is Attica the protagonist in this story? Hope it's o.k. to mention Mr. Grantham, somewhat of a sorcerer. He sent the children on this adventure, albeit with some concern, He KNEW the attic. I am reminded of myths, stories throughout time with age old messages regarding passages through life. At times, Attica seemed cathedral, spiritual. Myths deal with rewarding challenges. Go through the dark to see the light. Was Attica the big bad world? The unknown in a child's mind? The children certainly held up to the test. Anyway I found it fascinating, even with the negativity. I'd love to hear a young persons take on the story.


It's absolutely fine to mention Mr. Grahtham, deppaura. We didn't include him as a stand alone question. I thought it was interesting that he knew what he was sending the children into, and I think the reader senses that when he tells them about it. Actually that was a bit of a comforting thought when the children were lost. Surely Mr. Grantham wouldn't have sent them into grave danger! Interesting takes on what the attic might have represented. We will get into symbolism, etc. I would love to hear a young person's take as well!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby Liz » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:40 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
nebraska wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Very interesting! But you would reconcile the actual physical souvenirs they each came home with?

I was wondering if it presented itself differently to different people, using worlds that were meaningful to the individual.


They may have gone into a "real" attic and that spurred the imagination -- but brought trinkets down from the "real" attic.


I get it. I was thinking you meant the attic was existed in their heads only. :dunce: That sort of goes along with my thinking that you were lured to different parts of the attic depending on what issues you needed to face and resolve.

I find all of this really fascinating. Initially I thought I understood what Nebraska was saying, but now I’m not so sure. I like the idea that the attic could be experienced differently by each individual. I think life can be that way. But so can death, as in the movie, What Dreams May Come.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Attica Question #8 ~ Attica as a Character

Unread postby Liz » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:43 pm

Deppaura, you touch on some points that I wanted to comment on. But then I realized that we would get into an upcoming question about symbolism and allegories. So I'm giving you all a heads up that we will be discussing that so you can mull that one around and save it for then.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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