Study Guide

The White Darkness Chapter 23

By Geraldine McCaughrean

Chapter 23

"I Do Not Regret This Journey." –Scott

  • Sym reflects on the size of Antarctica. Yep, it's big all right.
  • Guess what? She and Sigurd were rescued thanks to an airplane that was hit by the tent that blew away back when Sym was with Victor.
  • Sym's on a boat, convalescing as she makes her way back to civilization. She avoids Sigurd.
  • Mike, one of the guys from the tour, is watching over Sym as she rests. Meanwhile, Sigurd is busy trying to convince everyone that Sym is crazy. He's worried she's going to report his criminal behavior to the authorities, but Sym has no plans to do so.
  • Sym is having a hard time re-acclimating to the real world. She feels empty. But eventually, as she takes in the beauty of the world around her, she starts to feel human again, warm and curious once more.
  • A guy named Bob is trying to figure out where exactly Sym was in Antarctica. Sym doesn't give a hoot.
  • Sym starts to tell Mike about Titus. Amazingly, he doesn't laugh. Instead he listens—he's really into the story, and he wants to know more.
  • Sym has a question for Mike: Did Titus's real body actually fall into the sea? Mike says no one knows.
  • In fact, Sym herself didn't know what happened to Titus's body. She assumed it would always be frozen in place. Which is significant because, if you recall, back on the tundra Titus told her that it wasn't.
  • Sym wonders how Titus could have told her something she didn't know—that's not how their relationship works, given that they're the same person. Oh well, guess it'll always be a mystery.
  • Mike asks Sym if, when they return to civilization, she'd like to go on a date. She's like, yo, Mike, I'm a child.
  • Mike is appalled—he had no idea she was so young. In fact, lots of people back at camp had hoped to ask her out.
  • As he makes a hasty exit, Sym flirts with Mike a bit, going so far as to make a joke about it. This is astonishing given how closed-off and uncommunicative she's been through the entire novel.
  • Looks like Sym finally likes boys, so she no longer has to worry so much about being deficient. She's just underage, which is a problem that should resolve itself.
  • Mike leaves in total horror. Sym seems really pleased with herself. Fin.

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