Something Wicked This Way Comes
How we cite our quotes:
[Tom Fury]: "Nightshade. That's quite a name."
"And only fitting," said Will Halloway. "I was born one minute before midnight, October thirtieth. Jim was born one minute after midnight, which makes it October thirty-first." (1.17-1.18)
This difference of two minutes in their births seems to explain a lot about Will and Jim, doesn't it? How does midnight function in the rest of the novel?
It seemed when the first stroke of nine banged from the big courthouse clock all the lights were on and business humming in the shops. But by the time the last stroke of nine shook everyone's fillings in his teeth, the barbers had yanked off the sheets, powdered the customers, trotted them forth; the druggists fount had stopped fizzing like a nest of snakes, the insect neons everywhere had ceased buzzing, and the vast glittering acreage of the dime store with its ten billion metal, glass, and paper oddments waiting to be fished over, suddenly blacked out. (4.2)
This is time as a young boy experiences it, reminding us how much of Something Wicked This Way Comes is influenced by the perspective of adolescents.
Midnight then and the town clocks chiming on toward one and two and then three in the deep morning and the peals of the great clocks shaking dust off old toys in high attics and shedding silver off old mirrors in yet higher attics stirring up dreams about clocks in all the beds where children slept. (11.1)
Check out the language here; it definitely lends a surreal air to the proceedings. How much can we really trust what's going on? How real are the events in this novel?