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Written by Micola Magdalena
Points of view
The novel is told from two different perspectives and apart from offering diversity, the voices are also symbolic because it represents the personality each person has. When a chapter is told from Homer’s perspective, the voice is usually detached and uses medical metaphors and figures of speech that make the narrator seem objective. The opposite happens in Codi’s case whose narration is personal and points towards her desire to find a meaning in life.
Life and Death
A recurrent motif in the novel is the fact that life and death are linked with the river that passes through the village. The villagers rely on the river to provide them with water that will keep alive their crops but it also has the power of taking one’s life as it is in Codi and her sister’s case when they almost drowned in the river when they were little.
Another recurrent motif is the idea that Codi and her sister grew up felling separated by the community in which they lived in. the separation was the result of the belief that they were different, belief perpetuated by their father. Apart from this, they also lived in a community that spoke a language that they believed Codi and her sister did not understand.
The moment when Codi and Loyd start to talk to one another again and when they restart their relationship is seen as being something symbolic because it also marks the beginning of Codi’s reintegration into the community she left behind when she moved out of Grace. Loyd is linked by Codi with the idea of now while also offering a link to the distant past.
For Codi, the fact that she has no medical license is a symbol of her inability of saving lives. She sees her inability of finishing her studies as a sign that she should not try to follow a path reserved for her father and sister. Because of this, when Codi manages to save the life of one of Emeline’s children she is shocked by her apparent success even though those around her don’t see it as being something extraordinary.
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