Study Guide

Tomorrow, When the War Began Chapter 4

By John Marsden

Chapter 4

  • The next day is a lazy one, complete with lying around and pigging out on snacks.
  • They all do their own thing, and Ellie goes off with Homer to try to find a path out of the clearing. Alas, there is nothing through the thick brush.
  • Laying on his sleeping bag, Homer freaks out when he feels a snake move in his bag. Seems reasonable, if you ask us.
  • Everyone quickly plots how to get rid of the snake—which might be poisonous—and it's decided the snake is probably more scared than they are and will slither away if they can just get it out of the bag.
  • Solemnly, Robyn and Kevin get sticks and lift the bag. Unfortunately, they don't get a firm grip so they drop the sleeping bag and the snake explodes out it, ticked off and ready to strike.
  • Each person reacts differently, with some running and some hiding. Kevin, however, just stands stock still, frozen in fear.
  • The snake takes off into the bush and Fi confesses that she jumped into the creek to hide from the slithering creature. Needless to say, she's shocked to learn that snakes can swim.
  • Waking to pee in the middle of the night, Ellie sees jets without any lights zipping through the sky, and lots of them. Huh.
  • The next morning, while Ellie sleeps, Robyn and Lee count hundreds of jets passing overhead. Whoa.
  • Conversation over breakfast is sarcastic and wanders around an imaginary WWIII and how invading on Commemoration Day would be ideal because everyone is out celebrating.
  • All the talk about wars ticks off Ellie so she huffs down to the creek, where she finds Homer. She's glad to be with him—he's one of her oldest friends—but then he asks a surprising question that nearly knocks her down.
  • It seems that Homer has a thing for Fi, which is crazy to Ellie since Homer is so not the relationship type.
  • Walking alone, Ellie wonders why this place is called Hell and realizes that when people call something "hell," they distort their ability to see it clearly. Hell, she decides, isn't a place so much as it is human beings—it's something people create.