The Diver children’s roles in the novel are sparse, but their presences underscore the tragic themes. Lanier is the older of the children, and is described in one place as being an "unpredictable boy with an inhuman curiosity." What do you make of the word inhuman? Think of all the dark secrets and mysteries surrounding his mother. He was there at the fair and in the car when she tried to swerve it off a cliff, and who knows what else he’s seen that contrasts with the generally loving and caring aspects of Nicole that he sees. And then he loses Dick before he’s a teenager. Lanier will undoubtedly have plenty of money when he grows up, but the novel gives us lots of clues that he’s in for a rough ride dealing with his past.