Study Guide

Animal Dreams Chapter 8

By Barbara Kingsolver

Chapter 8

Pictures

  • Codi heads uphill to go and finally see her pops.
  • From the top of the mountain, Codi can see piles of tailings all over the Canyon.
  • Anyway, while Codi's hiking toward her dad's house, she runs into Uda Dell. Remember her? From the flood? Well, Codi doesn't, because as we have already established, Codi's memory has the consistency of a post-fiesta peacock piñata.
  • Uda remembers Codi, though. She hands her a squash pie to take up to Homer's house for dinner.
  • Codi tells us about the night when Homer told her about his Alzheimer's. She phoned him up out of the blue, and the two of them meet in a sad little Holiday Inn lobby bar. He asked her not to tell Hallie about the disease.
  • For the first time in her life, Codi feels sorry for Doc—not because he's sick, but because "being like no one else, being alone, was the central ethic of his life" (8.23).
  • When they were kids, Doc tried to make the girls feel different from everyone else, too, and they're super mad at him for it.
  • Now that Doc's old and sick, the sad fact is that he has no one, not even his daughters.
  • Codi shows up at Doc's house and finds him in his darkroom, because Doc needed to get a little creepier.
  • Turns out Doc has a highly symbolic "hobby": he likes to take photographs of things that "didn't look like what they actually were" (8.24). Examples include clouds that look like landscapes and cacti that look like hands. He's done it as long as Codi can remember.
  • Codi goes in to say hi to Doc, and even though it's been two years since they're seen each other, he's basically like, Oh hi, have a seat.
  • Codi remembers that Doc was always like this—no hugs or kisses growing up.
  • Doc's in the middle of trying to make a picture of a bunch of men look like a picture of a bunch of rocks. We guess that's art or something?
  • While they're in there, Doc suddenly turns out all the lights, and we find out that Codi is afraid of the dark.
  • Codi has a gross and terrifying nightmare about suddenly going blind. There's a popping sound, and her eyes go out.
  • For some reason, Codi doesn't sleep much.
  • Fast forward to the night before school starts, and Codi and Emelina are hanging out and talking.
  • Emelina tells Codi that Uda Dell used to take care of her and Hallie when they were kids, and that it was Uda's husband Eddie who saved their lives when they almost drowned in the flood.
  • Codi reveals that she has absolutely no memory of the flood, and Emelina is like, Whoa dude, what is even wrong with you?
  • Codi, too, is like, What is even wrong with me? So she writes a letter to Hallie, in which she asks whether Hallie remembers the flood.

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