Study Guide

Other Travelers in The White Darkness

By Geraldine McCaughrean

Other Travelers

Though Sym and Victor's most important traveling companions are Manfred and Sigurd, there are a number of other travelers with them in Antarctica. "They were, for the most part, bronzed and polished; their watches showed Pacific time and the phases of the moon" (5.13), Sym tells us. By and large they're also old. "They were rich in years too: The majority were over sixty" (5.13). Okay, so not a super kid-friendly bunch. Way to add to Sym's isolation, fellow travelers (more on that on Sym's page in this section).

These other travelers are so peripheral to the story that they barely seem to exist. Some are such ridiculous caricatures of adventurers—for example, a retired colonel and his new wife, a British birdwatcher, and an American journalist who is never mentioned by name—that they could have been borrowed from a Wes Anderson film. The most noteworthy travelers are Madame Mimi Dormiere-St.-Pierre, a novelist who pretends to be French; and Mike, a young man who expresses romantic interest in Sym in the final scene in the novel. But even they are very flat characters.

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