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When the Night Comes
"A powerful work that is sure to stay with readers long after the last page."...
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What recurring symbols did you discover in your reading of the novel and what did you think they meant?

Created: 04/16/15

Replies: 5

Posted Apr. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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What recurring symbols did you discover in your reading of the novel and what did you think they meant?

The book returns again and again to specific images – colors, textures and sights. What recurring symbols did you discover in your reading of the novel and what did you think they meant?


Posted Apr. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
francinee

Join Date: 07/25/14

Posts: 14

RE: What recurring symbols did you discover in your reading of the novel and what did you think they meant?

I think that recurring symbols in "When The Night Comes" according to Ilsa are references to night, darkness, blackness, ghosts and strangers. Bo represents the warmth of the sun, the blue sea, white polar icecaps, friendship and camraderie. Ilsa will develop a sense of self worth and feel the fresh air while Bo will eventually settle into hearth and home.


Posted Apr. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindah

Join Date: 04/17/14

Posts: 90

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RE: What recurring symbols did you discover in your reading of the novel and what did you think they meant?

The Nella Dan as home and workplace; the omnipresent ice with the little ship literally and figuratively stuck until rescued by the Japanese icebreaker boat; the night and darkness signifying tragic loss, uncertainty and the pile of rocks, a sense of connection for Bo and validation that his distant memories of his father were true and certain. Out of bleak atmospheres of the icy sea and the remote locales of Antarctica and West Hobart, arise hope along with blue skies. "When the Night Comes" is an uplifting, deeply spiritual book. Lovely.


Posted Apr. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cprimack

Join Date: 04/20/15

Posts: 6

RE: What recurring symbols did you discover in your reading of the novel and what did you think they meant?

Gosh, there were so many. She uses darkness to describe being inside a lot and it symbolizes things that make the characters unhappy as opposed to brightness and light which were used with things that made people happy , i.e. A new day for Bo.
Time was used a lot such as in the discussion of the watch with Isla (Soren died, but his watch kept ticking). How fragile our lives must be to be out ticked by a watch! So every moment is precious. Lost in time, never enough time. Bo promises himself he will watch every precious sunrise, then after five or ten days, he sleeps in and misses it. The days at see are all running together for him because of the routine and he is hoping this one thing will help him keep the days separate.
Home is an important theme. Is home where our dwelling is? Or is it something more, involving being around the people we love? Can we move around and be at home? For me and the characters in the book, I don't believe it is a dwelling alone. In the end, I believe Bo has found home in his daughters eyes. I believe Isla has found her house. It is so beautiful how she thinks back to meeting Bo, to hanging up a picture of his ship beside her bed, "It was light... This gentle kindness in my house." She talks about how people try to take away her light, "but kindness was a shield." P. 233 galley
Memories and loneliness are two additional themes of the book.


Posted Apr. 22, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marilynj

Join Date: 08/07/11

Posts: 28

RE: What recurring symbols did you discover in your reading of the novel and what did you think they meant?

Color seemed to me to be a major recurring symbol and especially gray. The atmosphere of the book, physically not emotionally, was icy, foggy, gray. The sea, the sky, the gray coldness, and Bo's eyes "were gray-blue like the sea." When Isla described seeing the man, she talked about the bright red wall of steel, the tall man dressed in white, the red ship, a red flag flying in the breeze, and people coming out of the gray fog.


Posted Apr. 25, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 26

RE: What recurring symbols did you discover in your reading of the novel and what did you think they meant?

The biggest "symbol" or the main character in the book is the Nella Dan. She represented home, family, security and adventure. ..."she was a great little ship with a great soul". She had ..."a mind of her own". She was personified by everyone who came in contact with her. These human attributes of love, trust, and security were ascribed to her.
She fostered relationships...among the crew, among the crew and the townspeople, among Isla's family and between Bo and Isla. She initiated them, maintained them and then broke them. (eg Soren, and her sinking)
She brought her "friends" from darkness into light...for the adventurers and crew members, as they traveled into almost continuous light, and especially Isla.
Isla, where for her the darkness was "scarey" into the light. Where Isla pretended the ship was her home, her cabin was downstairs...with a "round porthole that let the light in. Where "it was never dark-it was never night"


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