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Quotes

Quote #10

No exit – her shreds of awareness were saying, beating it into the pavements in the sound of her steps – no exit...no refuge...no signals...no way to tell destruction from safety, or enemy from friend. (3.4.4.76)

Cherryl's final moments before her suicide are filled with a panicky sense of suffocation and hopelessness. It's interesting that she says the world is turning to "goo" just before this scene; here she seems to be sinking and drowning in something like quicksand.

Quote #11

And then it was James Taggart who screamed. It was a long, sudden, piercing scream, as if at some sudden sight, though his eyes were staring at space and seemed blankly sightless. The sight he was confronting was within him. (3.9.3.77)

James's final, horrific epiphany destroys him. Contrast James's realization about himself with someone like Hank, who isn't afraid to face up to the truth.

Quote #12

[I]t was Eddie's face that froze into a look of terror at the sight of a ghost more frightening than any they could have expected: it was a train of covered wagons. (3.10.2.43)

Historical backsliding and decline are often used to convey fear in the book and to represent the country's downfall. Eddie's final scenes are filled with dread, since he realizes that modern civilization as he knew it is over.

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