Study Guide

The Ocean at the End of the Lane Chapter 8

By Neil Gaiman

Chapter 8

VIII

  • The kid tries to piece himself back together after the horrible bathtub incident. He's still soaking wet when he gets to his room, so he tries to dry off as well as he can without a towel. It sounds miserable.
  • He's been "disowned" by his family for the night, so his sister is going to sleep in their parent's room. Ursula threatens that next time she'll lock him in the attic, and then locks him in his room.
  • He decides to escape (because Ursula will feel secure that she's locked him in) by climbing down the drainpipe.
  • On his way down, he sees his father and Ursula doing… something… in the drawing room. He's seven, so he doesn't really know much about the birds and the bees, but let's just say they are doing the horizontal tango, vertically against the fireplace.
  • He starts running toward the Hempstock farm, but gets turned around running through all the fields and woods.
  • A thunderstorm is brewing, and as he continues to run in his soaking wet pajamas, he sees Ursula Monkton floating above him, illuminated in the lightning. Creepy.
  • She's threatening him while smiling and floating above him as he runs. Yikes.
  • Just as he's fallen to the ground in exhaustion and sheer terror, the kitten he'd pulled from the earth earlier appears and licks his hand, somehow giving him the courage to stand up for himself one last time.
  • Lettie finally shows up and orders Ursula to get off her land.
  • Ursula wants the boy because he's her "door" to this world, and she's not going to give him up without a fight.
  • Lettie makes the whole field glow golden, and a force like a ton of static electricity blows Ursula Monkton away.
  • Lettie, the boy, and his kitten all walk to the Hempstock farmhouse.