| Quote #13
"Gentle?" I said. "It's terrifying." My voice was shaking. "Someone is walking along the beach, and the night is getting black, and the person keeps looking behind him to see if someone is following, and a jing-bang wave comes up and pulls him into the sea." (29.5)
Even though Sal tries to cover up the fact that she has so many fears, these fears pop up in other ways. For example, when she is discussing Longfellow's poem "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls" in class, she interprets it as being a poem about death. Her classmate, Megan, thinks that the poem sounds gentle, like it's trying to lull someone to sleep. This is why English class is so cool: two people can read the exact same poem and come up with totally different interpretations of it. Our life perspective, our fears, and our dreams often play a part in how we view and understand works of literature or art.
| Quote #14
But the other half of me was a quivering pile of jelly. I could see our car bursting through the railing and plunging down the cliff. As we approached each curve, I could see us smashing straight on into a truck or a camper. Every time I saw a bus, I watched it sway. I watched its tires spin dangerously close to the gravel at the road's edge. I watched it plunge on, eating up the road, defying those curves. (35.4)
Notice how colorful and vivid Sal's language becomes here. She uses words like, "quivering," "jelly," "bursting," "plunging," "smashing," "plunge," "eating," and "defying." Sal's imagination plays a very big part in fueling her fears, in keeping her fears alive. She feels everything so deeply. For the most part, her imagination is a good thing, because it helps her to walk in other people's moccasins. Sometimes, however, it causes her a lot of anxiety.