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Written by Micola Magdalena
Ginny begins the fourth chapter by talking about her great grandparents who came to America from England in the 1800s. What they found there was barren land and emptiness, something that didn’t inspire them any type of trust. What they ended up doing was to partner up with the Crook family, buying land and transforming it miraculously into fertile soil that made them rich. Here, the narrator compares her great grandparents’ accomplishment with the creational myth. Just like God was able to transform a seemingly inhabitable land into a beautiful and rich planet, Ginny’s family and the Crook family transformed the land and made it fruitful.
Marriage as a business transaction
The narrator talks both about her marriage and about her sister’s, Rose’s marriage. The impression left is that the girls didn’t necessarily loved their husbands but they decided to marry their husbands because the sane thing financially to do. Marriage is thus compared to a business transaction where two families merge together to create a stronger business. Their purpose was not to find love and a partner for life but to expand their wealth and to create strategic connections with other families.
Tyler comes home one evening telling Ginny that Jess will be coming over for dinner but Ginny is concerned that Jess will not be able to eat the food she prepared because he is a vegetarian. Being different and choosing to eat in a different way that those living on the farm is used here as a metaphor for rebelling against the old ways. Jess choses to adopt a new way of eating that goes against the traditions just as he chose to risk being seen as a coward to save his life.
Metaphor for hiding one’s self
When Rose’s children return home, the one who takes care of them is Ginny. One day, Ginny takes the children to the pool to meet with the friends they left behind. Pammy decides to wear sunglasses and Ginny notes that no one will be able to recognize her is Pammy’s face will be covered by the glasses but Pammy is not bothered by it. The fact that Pammy wears glasses is used here as a metaphor that stands for the characters’ tendency to hide their true self. While Pammy does it by hiding her face, the other characters are more subtle and the control their behavior to fool those around them.
In chapter 17, Ginny and Jess go together to the local dump to talk and spend time together. There Jess points out all the different types of flowers he sees and also the snakes that are visible on the field. The snakes and the flowers here have a metaphorical value and may suggest that Jess has a dangerous side to him not only the inoffensive and positive one.
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