by Cynthia Voigt
Analysis: What's Up With the Title?
Dicey's song? What song? We don't remember any singing from our main character, thank you very much.
Nevertheless, music plays a big role in the book:
- Maybeth discovers her talent for music despite her struggles in school.
- Jeff serenades Dicey every day after school.
- Mr. Lingerle, the music teacher, enters the Tillermans’ life and shakes things up with a few free lessons.
But how does any of that relate to Dicey's own personal world? Let's ask the teen herself:
What Dicey was used to, she realized, was things being simple, like a song. You sang the words and the melody straight through. That was the way she had brought her family down here to Crisfield, singing straight through. (1.165)
Singing is what's gotten Dicey and her siblings through the mess they've had to endure. It's what brought them to Crisfield. So Dicey's song, whatever song it is, can be a symbol of her strength and perseverance. And when the going gets tough, the tough keep it simple.
Plus, if you think of songs as stories, which they are, this novel is obviously Dicey’s story. And as she overcomes each obstacle she encounters, she learns how to march to the beat of her own drummer. Yeah, her song’s definitely got good percussion.