“The ship isn’t birdlike, it’s hanging from a patchwork of rough strands like a puppet dangling from a master’s strings” (6) (Simile)
Adelice’s observation indicates to her that Earth and Arras are alike and are connected. There is a sense of artificiality on Earth as well, which takes her by surprise. Insofar that the aeroship is “like a puppet,” Earth too is being controlled by the Guild, and for years the Guild has reaped Earth’s sources, using it as a resource to fund the Guild’s tyranny.
“Destroy the looms. If you choose this path, others will follow you as Whorl. Embrace and trust them, but know their hearts. As you must know your own” (384) (Metaphor)
This is Adelice’s ultimate prerogative in the book. She is the light, the leader, and the source of resistance. If she is able to destroy the looms, it will signify a successful rebellion, one that will give people hope, liberate them from the shackles that the Guild has placed them in, and ultimately (hopefully) bring humanity into a better state of being than before. Before that can all happen, Einstein tells Adelice that she must know herself in order to be successful and in order to know others’ desires, hopes, and behaviors.
“The water is as smooth as glass, gold-flecked tiles peeking through the cerulean surface” (225) (Simile)
Adelice looks into the pool just before she confronts Erik about her suspicion of his ability to see strands. The water is juxtaposed to the unclear and murkier personalities and secrets that the people around her, particularly Erik, are keeping from her. She sees the water as an ideal, and hopes that she is successful in convincing Erik of becoming more like the water in which he is swimming.
“Maybe I didn’t concentrate so intensely in Arras, but every strand I touch throbs through me. I drop them and focus on the space around me, tuning out everything but the thrum of the world. And then it’s there—a tiny whistle that fades in and out of my hearing. Almost metallic, it oscillates between a faint rhythm and a heavy, inelegant hammering” (207) (Metaphor)
As Dante is teaching Adelice to control Earth’s strands, and to alter, she becomes frustrated. However she realizes that a deeper concentration and connection is required in order to harness the power of Earth’s raw and natural strands. She has to feel and bond with time and space more in a more informal and passionate way she did not have to when she weaved on Arras.
“These people are Kincaid’s homage to the past – his past” (151) (Metaphor)
At multiple points, both through this rendition of Hamlet and his quoting of Shakespeare, Kincaid subtly indicates a longing for something that does not exist. He wants more than simply power and control – he wants a past that the Guild cannot give him. This is partly why he wants to be a Tailor, because it could give him the ability to go back in time. He will not compromise with respect to his goal.
Altered Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Altered is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.