Study Guide

Dancing on the Edge Versions of Reality

By Han Nolan

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Versions of Reality

Denial: It ain't just a river in Egypt. It's a skill for avoiding the painful realities of life, and in Dancing on the Edge, the McCloy family is dangerously good at. These people exercise denial to the point where it borders on delusion—rather than look at what's real and plausible, they instead build alternate realities to keep from dealing with guilt and grief and loss. The problem with having different versions of reality, though, is that it prevents you from dealing directly with life, and this causes serious issues for Miracle and Gigi.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. Does Miracle really believe in Gigi's fantasy world, or is there a part of her that always hasn't? Use examples from the book to support your answer.
  2. Why does Miracle repeatedly create alternate realities to explain what happens to Dane? And speaking of Dane, what happens to him?
  3. What role does Juleen play in Miracle's realization that Gigi's world isn't what it seems to be?
  4. Why is it so difficult for Gigi to accept a realistic explanation for Dane leaving?

Chew on This

Gigi teaches Miracle to create fantasy scenarios as a way to hide from painful emotions and truths.

Miracle sets herself on fire partially because she can't handle the full weight of the truth Juleen shares with her—as her understanding of her life metaphorically goes up in flames, Miracle literally does the same.

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