Study Guide

The White Darkness Chapter 6

By Geraldine McCaughrean

Chapter 6

The Ice

  • By traveling through different time zones, Sym has gained almost a day.
  • She reflects on days she wish she could erase from her life: when the dog died, when she first got her hearing aids, when the family car was repossessed, and when her father no longer recognized her.
  • Her father's illness slowly took his faculties. He started getting injured, forgetting things, and even got into a car crash.
  • Back on the excursion, Sym's fellow travelers have started a series of lectures. First up is the birdwatcher, on birds.
  • Sym is super bored so she chats with Titus and tries to get excited about tomorrow, when they'll arrive in Antarctica.
  • Victor must be bored, too, because he's falling asleep. Sym wakes him so he won't snore.
  • Now the travelers are on another plane, flying over the Southern Ocean. Sym gazes out the window upon an iceberg.
  • When the plane hits the Antarctic Circle, it's palpableā€”it becomes cold in the cabin of the plane.
  • Sym tries to look at Antarctica, but it's hard to see because the white is so dazzling. Jon, the trip leader, passes around sunglasses.
  • As Sym looks upon all this wonder, she notices Victor out of the corner of her eye. He's concentrating on keeping the plane in the air, of course.
  • Sym feels extra grateful for the trip knowing what a strain it's been on Uncle Victor. What a guy right?
  • The plane lands. Everyone seems really nervous except for Sym. She was born for this.
  • The passengers make camp. Sym tries to take in all the nothingness, picturing Titus on his journey there ninety years before. She feels happy, or at least like happiness is a possibility.

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