The Invention of Hugo Cabret
by Brian Selznick
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
When Papa Georges falls ill after discovering the kids and the box of drawings, Hugo has a very odd and surreal dream that’s filled with images of clocks (I2.3.2-6). There are all these clocks floating in space with odd things like eyes and parts of people’s faces. Yikes.
It seems the threat of time past is creeping up on both Hugo and Papa Georges, and neither of them can hide forever from it.
For Papa Georges, this means that he has to admit to his past as a filmmaker and let people know that he’s not dead. He has to embrace the good things that he achieved along with accepting the bad things that happened to his film company and his good friends.
As for Hugo, he has to admit to himself that he can’t just go on living in the train station. It’s in no way sustainable and someone was bound to find Uncle Claude or catch on that a little boy was stealing from all the shops. It’s time to stop being frozen in time and for them to move on.
That's because time is of the essence for both these characters. They need to learn to make the most of their lives, because as the deaths of those closest to them show, life is short. There's no sense spending it alone.