Study Guide

The White Darkness Chapter 21

By Geraldine McCaughrean

Chapter 21

"Oh! He Was a Gentleman, Quite a Gentleman, and Always a Gentleman!" –Tom Crean, of Oates

  • Sym surveys her situation. She tries to hate Victor, but it doesn't quite take.
  • She and Titus discuss her feelings: She's mad that Victor made her deaf and killed her dad, but on some level she also loved him. So what good does it do to feel mad?
  • Sym considers telling people that Victor actually found Symmes's Hole. In a way, she's still holding on to Victor's lies; it's all she has left.
  • Titus is all like, "Girl, no," so Sym gives up her bad idea. She just hopes Victor found peace.
  • Titus thinks they should make a move. Sym finds the snow goggles (Victor doesn't need them anymore).
  • Somehow Sym loses her sled, which is bad—really bad.
  • Now Titus really thinks they should make a move. Sym tries to make a sundial, but she's totally disoriented.
  • Sym is walking toward some flash of light, though she's not sure what it is. Oh, wait—it's the lenses to another pair of glasses Victor discarded earlier.
  • Sym experiences a flash of sadness for Uncle Victor; she falls to her knees, and tells Titus she can't go on.
  • Titus says she should definitely go on. He wants to help and tells her to give him her pain so he can carry it.
  • They argue back and forth about moving on. Sym wants to stay put; Titus says she's going to die out there, as he did a century before.
  • Sym contemplates her love for Titus. She thinks she finally understands what all the fuss is about, boy-wise. She understands love.
  • Sym really wants a nap, though, so she makes her case to Titus: His body was buried around here somewhere, so now they can be together.
  • Titus says his body isn't there, though; the shifting ice shelf knocked his body into the sea. He's pretty fierce about it.
  • Sym is horrified—the thought of being knocked into the sea does not please her. She decides she's not ready to die.
  • She stands up. Time to get going. Titus is still with her, carrying her pain; he uses his body to shield her from the wind.
  • Sym knows that she is dying. She reaches into her jacket pocket, which is technically Victor's jacket pocket—she took it after he jumped to his death—and notices there's something in one of the pockets.

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