Turning Point

Postby jkwilliams » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:29 pm

The first time I read the novel, there was one part that really stood out for me because it wasn't like anything else in the story. It was that strange little scene involving Eli and the old woman with cancer.

It was confusing at first because I couldn't see the point of it. It felt like a detour in the story that didn't really go anywhere. I understood the hallucinations probably meant something but I couldn't make any sense of them. I also couldn't understand why Eli seemed to act so differently here than he did in the rest of the novel. :think:

Then it finally hit me. What makes this scene different from the ones where Jocke and Virginia are attacked is that it's told entirely from Eli's point of view. We not only see everything through his eyes but also get a sense of what he feels when he kills someone. That part turns out to be a little disturbing because he doesn't seem to feel anything.

The woman wasn't screaming anymore, just lay still on her back while the blood pumped out of her in weaker and weaker spurts, streaming down behind the sofa cushions. Her eyes were damp and remote as she met Eli's gaze and said, "please . . . please . . ."

Eli held back her impulse to be sick, leaned forward over the woman.

"Excuse me?"

"Please . . ."

"Yes, what is it you want?"

". . . please . . . please."

After a while the woman's eyes changed, stiffened. Became unseeing. Eli closed them. They opened again. Eli took the blanket from the floor and covered her face with it, sat up straight in the couch.

JAL goes into great detail describing every little thing but never gives the old woman a name. That's because it doesn't matter to Eli. He may not like having to kill people but it no longer bothers him, and I think that realization is what this scene is really about. Being with Oskar has reawakened a lot of feelings and memories he probably forgot he still had. The morphine just brings them all to the surface and forces him to confront them.

The penguins walking with their eggs become the parents taking their children to the castle, and the mirrored skyscrapers become actual mirrors. When he sees the wig man on the screen he knows he's really looking at himself. Eli rejects being called a vampire because he wants to believe he's different, but deep down he realizes he's becoming as "cynical and hollow" as the others.

This is a big turning point in Eli's life and he's not the same character afterwards. When he burns the house down, he's also getting rid of his old life and starting a new one with Oskar. Without this strange little scene, we wouldn't have an Oskar and Eli. :wub:

There! It took me five years but I finally made it to 100 posts.
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Re: Turning Point

Postby ltroifanatic » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:48 am

Your 100th is a cracker.I've read that part of the novel lots of times and now you've given me an explanation that I had never thought of.I had always thought that it was showing a hunting strategy as well as an opportunity to show us how a contaminated blood supply can affect vampires and also to read more about the "wigman".Your post suggests so much more.Ohhh! You've got me thinking too much.Another sleepless night.. :lol: Thanks for sharing your insights.You should post more if you can. :D
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Re: Turning Point

Postby gattoparde59 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:55 am

What struck me in that scene was the way this old woman is heading towards a lonely death. She dresses up and lays out snacks for guests that are never coming. (Eli is rightly worried that someone will visit). Who are you? she asks and Eli answers "Nobody."She lays her head in Eli's lap and Eli tenderly strokes her hair and tells her a story. I always took this as showing Eli's state of mind. Eli wants someone to love and care for him even as he gets ready to kill the old lady.

You are right that this is a very important scene. This is the first clue we get that Eli is both a predator and a victim. For the first time perhaps we see Eli afraid of something.

I never thought of this scene in quite the way you describe here. Both Oskar and Haken are witnesses to the transformation you see but now I am not sure of the timeline.

I'll break open the story and tell you what is there. Then, like the others that have fallen out onto the sand, I will finish with it, and the wind will take it away.

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Re: Turning Point

Postby a_contemplative_life » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:43 am

Thanks for the thoughtful post. I like your interpretation of that scene and why it's important.

Another element that I like about this scene is that it shows not only that Eli is a victim, but also that he, like the other characters, cannot escape "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." In other words, things can go badly for everyone, even those with supernatural powers.
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Re: Turning Point

Postby intrige » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:48 am

This is a pretty amaing observation, great job!! I haven't thought of it like that before! :D
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