Study Guide

The White Darkness Chapter 7

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Chapter 7


  • Sym explains that she's not good at talking. Thinking, sure, that's fine; but talking is something else altogether.
  • She's finding it exhausting being with a group all the time, and sometimes she skips the group activities to go stare at the snowdrifts by herself.
  • The week passes with a few excursions to see local animal life, including elephant seals, whales, and penguins.
  • Here's Sigurd. Sym is so used to having conversations with Titus in her head that only about half of what she means to say actually makes it out of her mouth.
  • Sym is suspicious about Sigurd's attention toward her; she assumes he's just being polite. Anyway, everyone finds him charming, including Sym.
  • Uncle Victor, on the other hand? Not so charming. He's always interrupting people on the trip, which (surprise) they find annoying.
  • The group is having a swish barbeque with champagne and shrimp cocktail. It's thirty degrees below zero, but they're eating outside.
  • A fellow passenger, Mrs. Pogsbaum, has an idea: Sym should perform or do something fun in front of the group. Sym is mortified.
  • After some cajoling, Sym tells them a bit about Titus's expedition. Then she recites a poem.
  • The poem moves Uncle Victor to tears, and everyone thinks he's a lunatic except for Manfred Bruch, who bonds with him.
  • Manfred and Victor retreat to the Hagglund, an Arctic terrain vehicle, to chat. Sigurd and Sym accompany them.
  • Surprise: Manfred and Victor already know each other. But Manfred wants their friendship to continue to be a secret from the rest of the group.
  • Manfred is impressed with Victor's genius. Or maybe obsessed is a better word… Turns out Manfred's wife (Sigurd's mother) left him because of this obsession. This is news to Sym, but not to Victor.
  • Sym basically has no idea what's going on. Nor does Shmoop. Go team.

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