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Written by Nicola Francisc
Towards the beginning of the novel, Harper and the other survivors find the rest of the plane in a lake. The way the plane is described creates a depressing image which has the purpose of terrifying the reader and also emphasize the gravity of the situation in which the characters were. The image of the sinking plane remains a vivid image inside Harper’s and Nick’s mind for the rest of the novel and it is always associated with death and suffering.
Towards the beginning of the novel, soon after the crash, Nick briefly described Grayson after he encounters him in the woods when he tries to return to the part of the plane that was in the lake. Then, Nick describes Grayson as a savage man, almost an animal, with blood between its teeth and an insane look on his face. The image Nick has about Grayson highlights the idea that for Nick, Grayson was something dangerous, a wild animal that cannot be controlled and that could possibly hurt others if given the chance.
The image of Stonehenge has a powerful impact on Nick. For him, Stonehenge was the distant past of the human nature, a past that no one can return to. For him, Stonehenge inspired both fear and respect and it made him respect more the past. When Nick sees Stonehenge protected by technologies from the future, he realized that what he thought was the present became the distant past. Because of this, the image of the Stonehenge has a powerful impact on Nick and the image of Stonehenge as a symbol for the past only gets stronger as the time goes by. In fact, Nick will go back to the image of Stonehenge multiple times during the novel when he will reflect about the past.
Another image that influences deeply the characters is the image of the deserted London. For Nick and Harper, London was always associated with crowds, a busy life style and life. When they first exit the Podway, the London that they find is much more different from what they thought it would be. Instead of having to force themselves through crowds, they find the city completely deserted. For them, the empty city was the confirmation they needed to know that their fears about a pandemic was true.
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