Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:40 am

Why do you think Chloe visits the family in Chapter 14 and why do they reappear at the end of the story?
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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:02 pm

I have checked several times today to see the responses and no one has posted an answer. So obviously I am not the only one who doesn't have a clue about this! :perplexed:

If the attic was about growing up and changing perceptions, then Chloe's trip downstairs showed her a view of family life from outside and because she was not emotionally involved herself, she was able to make some changes in the dynamics in that household. Her approach to all the problems was more mature, a sign of Chloe's continuing growth? Maybe the return was to show us that her efforts paid off?

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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby ladylinn » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:27 pm

I agree nebraska - tough question. I went back and did some re-reading. My conclusion is that Chloe simply went down the trap door to find their bearings. While there she somehow became part of George and Jane's family. Jane was having problems connecting with Geo.'s kids and Chloe was able to find Jane's soft spot as she did with Mr. Grantham and by doing that helped repair the family's difficulties.
Also she picked up the Walrus when she felt threatened and placed it in her backpack. This carving played an important part in the childrens' return home.
I liked when Chloe and her family went out to eat that she observed George and Jane and children having a very friendly and loving outing in the resturant.
I wonder if I helped do that - I would like to think so.

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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby Bix » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:53 pm

This is a good question and something I wondered about as I read the book. I agree with what nebraska and ladylinn have said about Chloe and how she helped the family dynamic.

I thought it was incredibly brave of her to go down there, since she had been warned that those who did sometimes did not return. So I think it was a good plot device to create more of the same kind of tension and anxiety that Jordy's disappearance did.

Good point about the walrus, as it did play a part in the childrens' return home.

And I agree that the family reappeared at the end to give Chloe the chance to see that she had done some good for them.
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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby Theresa » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:59 pm

My first thought about it was that it was necessary for her to go down there to get the walrus, as it was an important part of the story. But there has to be more than that. I just don't know what. :perplexed:

Some good theories posted here!
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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby suec » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:06 pm

I liked that she went down the trapdoor. I think for the story she needed to, because the other two had their challenges when they went off on their own, so it was a good balance and a little test for her. The bortrekker makes a big deal about her going down there and how dangerous it is - does he tell Alex to get her back? - but she is OK and manages well, which I think ties into the theme of some fears disappearing - altho maybe she just got lucky there. I liked the contrast between her own family and the one she visits. The second one seems to be less successful than her own at blending with the newcomer, altho that may be due to the fact that the woman is more isolated. It's not a successful team functioning properly. To me, it showed quite a bit of unhappiness. Chloe achieves a lot with that family, and I think it was important to show the outcome of that at the end of the book. It speaks to me of the impact we can have on others from just a casual isolated encounter, never mind regular frequent contact. Perhaps some of the inhabitants of Attica weren't lucky enough to have that kind of experience. To be honest, when Chloe speaks to Sarah at the end about their paths crossing, I found it a wee bit irritating at first. I thought she's butted in where angels fear to tread already; she shouldn't push her luck! But perhaps that comment about paths crossing was really significant, because our paths do cross each other and to me it's the whole point, after all. I couldn't get my head around the fact that the family saw her as Sarah when she was there; but perhaps that was saying something about what was going on in that home: not seeing each other clearly and with caring? But there is also some of that in Attica too, mistrust & wariness & misunderstanding.
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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:26 pm

I wanted to ask this question because I felt like I was missing something too and I knew I could rely on you guys to come up with some good answers! :cool: My thought was that she was there to help the family get through a tough time, sort of an angel visit if you will, and the we see at the end how she did make a difference for them. You never know what ripples you cause.

Good point about the walrus! I had forgotten that.

suec, your point about it being Chloe's challenge is a good one too.
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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby gemini » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Since you all have done the heavy lifting I will agree with your reasoning. I too was a bit unclear about her trip down below. I agree that there seemed to be certain accomplishments that had to be met in the attic to return home and since she took the walrus that part made sense. It seemed obvious that the family was another blended family like her own so Chloe could see the positive aspects of her family in comparison. Of course her gift of winning people over and desire to do good deeds was apparent. I wasn't exactly sure why she was supposed to get involved but glad that it worked out. Maybe each child was to complete some quest to return home and that was hers.

I also found it strange that a trip below had the same strange feeling of being in the attic, like the family not seeing her as herself but Sarah. It seemed that some of the attic magic still applied unless you returned through the correct porthole home.
Last edited by gemini on Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby deppaura » Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:08 pm

well, with my silence I reveal my inability to fully explain that episode. It seemed like a clever "author" ploy to enhance the story somehow. I found it difficult to understand somehow. Especially when Chloe morphed into Sarah, guess because she went into the wrong environment, not allowed when leaving Attica, I guess. Has to be your own entry spot. I really thought she had messed up big time and wouldn't be able to get back "anywhere"!! Float around in this other dimension. I'm not sure that segment made "sense" to me.

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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby magpie » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:24 pm

ladylinn wrote:I agree nebraska - tough question. I went back and did some re-reading. My conclusion is that Chloe simply went down the trap door to find their bearings. While there she somehow became part of George and Jane's family. Jane was having problems connecting with Geo.'s kids and Chloe was able to find Jane's soft spot as she did with Mr. Grantham and by doing that helped repair the family's difficulties.
Also she picked up the Walrus when she felt threatened and placed it in her backpack. This carving played an important part in the childrens' return home.
I liked when Chloe and her family went out to eat that she observed George and Jane and children having a very friendly and loving outing in the resturant.
I wonder if I helped do that - I would like to think so.


I agree, ladylinn. I also think that for me, the reader, it was very satisfying to actually find out what was going on in the underworld instead of just "hearsay" from the other characters. For Chloe, it was satisfying to help mend the family's rift, and very important that they appeared later in the story to let her know how much good she did for them. The walrus was sort of 'secondary' to me, even though it did play a big part in the story later.
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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby trygirl » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:33 pm

The visit could have been a chance for the author to show a stark contrast between one blended family making it work and the other not. Chloe, Alex, and Dipa are trying to adjust to life with new members but Sarah and her clan are struggling to find their way. The underworld trip shows Chloe how lucky she is to have Ben and Jordy instead of Jane. The entire chapter is the literal version of "walking a mile," then you might learn to appreciate your own situation. As to why they reappear at the end, you ladies gave wonderful answers. I suppose to let Chloe glimpse some real magic, the kind that affects people for the better. The real treasure is helping someone.
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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:56 pm

Thanks, Noodlemantras for all your insights. I have really enjoyed reading all your thoughts on this question. :cool:

We will explore the family aspect more tomorrow when we talk specifically about blended families and how they are portrayed in the story.

deppaura, I was confused too about how Chloe morphed into Sarah so I read the chapter again and found the explanation on pg. 205. I was feeling a bit of deja vu with Parallel Worlds!
:hypnotic:
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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby Liz » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:19 am

Great answers everyone! I too wondered what went on there, so I also wanted DITHOT to ask this question. But after reading everyone’s answers I have some more ideas on this (see below).

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:deppaura, I was confused too about how Chloe morphed into Sarah so I read the chapter again and found the explanation on pg. 205. I was feeling a bit of deja vu with Parallel Worlds! :hypnotic:

I know. Elephant spaces and all. But I thought it was rather arbitrary that she would take the place of Sarah and that everyone down below would see her as such. Thus, I go for trygirl’s explanation that it was no arbitrary turbulence but meant to be that she would replace Sarah for a time so that Chloe could see the positive affect she had on the family. And I was glad that we had some closure about that at the end because then she was able to see the results of her efforts and so could we. So yes, I think going down below could create turbulence and require that someone there would have to be displaced for a time. But I think that the person that one was to replace was no accident…..that there would have to be a mission (or quest, as gemini puts it) for the one entering the underworld. Chloe accomplished her mission and was then able to return to the attic—with her reward, the walrus. But maybe if she had handled the situation differently, in not so honorable a fashion, maybe she would have had to stay down below longer, until she could earn her way out.
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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:52 am

I am not sure it was necessary for Chloe to go "downstairs" to find the Walrus. In fact, I was a little disappointed in her that she stole it outright when she could have come across it any where in the attic without theft. :-/

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Re: Attica Question #16 ~ Visit to the Underworld

Unread postby deppaura » Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:20 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:



deppaura, I was confused too about how Chloe morphed into Sarah so I read the chapter again and found the explanation on pg. 205. I was feeling a bit of deja vu with Parallel Worlds!
:hypnotic:


Oh, that sneaky sci-fi!!


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