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The Survivors


Even the deepest secrets rise to the surface in this thrilling mystery from New ...
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What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

Created: 01/28/21

Replies: 12

Posted Jan. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2619

What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

The book is named after the sculpture called The Survivors that stands sentry at the caves in Evelyn Bay, which is almost a character in its own right. What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?


Posted Jan. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 140

RE: What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

The statue of the survivors was brilliant. It represented those who survived, but also those who had lost. It showed the two sides of guilt--the guilt of causation and the guilt of survival. No matter what happened in the novel, Kieran felt both. He was both. Everyone who went through that storm survived in one way or another, whether through pain, loss, guilt, or memory. It was a masterful symbol of the story's theme.


Posted Jan. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robertaw

Join Date: 04/20/16

Posts: 54

RE: What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

The statue became another character in the book. It represented loss, danger and of course survival. I loved how when the tide came in it would disappear. I wonder too if the statue represented something that watched over the Bay and was a reminder about danger. I think the statue might have represented different things to the various characters---danger, loss, survival. It was a brilliant touch.


Posted Jan. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 187

RE: What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

Agree with the previous commenters about the brilliance of the statue and its name. Even more ironic was that fact that it was a conscious decision to move the statue to the water to enhance its story. Almost every character survived the tragic circumstances of the storm 10 years earlier, with some more damaged than others.


Posted Jan. 31, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RRO

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 20

RE: What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

Agree with previous comments, but the title also reflects just the 'survivors' of that storm that claimed victims. The statue was an excellent analogy for that also.


Posted Feb. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 330

RE: What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

The irony represented by the sculpture in this novel is striking. While it was "commissioned in tribute to the fifty-four passengers and crew who had lost their lives nearly a century ago" on the SS Mary Minerva, most readers of Harper's novel will find it, ironically, symbolic of those who live in Evelyn Bay today, those who struggled with the deaths of two young women ten or more years apart. Kiernan, his wife and parents, and Olivia and her mother are the most obvious survivors. It is ironic also that Sean, who focuses so intently on the Minerva as a source of business success, is the one who, in the end, does not survive. Just as the sculpture is submerged or surfaces as the tide ebbs and flows, so go the lives of the novel's characters - dark times are followed when the truth emerges and healing becomes finally possible.


Posted Feb. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 81

RE: What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

The title reflects the books essence. The survivors of a terrible ship wreck long ago, a catastrophic storm some 12 years earlier where 3 young people lost their lives. The new "storm", Bronte's murder, and its effect on the survivors once again! Sean, what he did and its effect on all our characters once again. Agree, the statue is so symbolic of Evelyn Bay ... and its survivors once again. Evelyn Bay, Liam, Sean, Olivia, Ash, Julian, Trish, Verity, Brian, Mia and Brian.


Posted Feb. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 293

RE: What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

The sculpture has several meanings. The obvious being a way to memorialize those lost in the shipwreck, of course. I think the way the waves move in and out against the sculpture is a metaphor for grief. One moment you may be able to stand strong and free from the pain. The very next moment, grief washes over you in waves, almost burying you. I visualized the sculpture facing out at the horizon. To me this symbolizes looking forward to the future- -keep moving toward what is in front, not behind. While it is a natural part of the grief process to look back, it is really the least helpful. Looking back most often ends up in horrific feelings of guilt. The only way a person can move through grief is to walk directly into it, head on.


Posted Feb. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Harley's Mom

Join Date: 02/21/19

Posts: 32

RE: What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

The sculpture represents the survivors of an actual shipwreck while the title of the novel refers to the Evelyn Bay residents who survived the terrible storm twelve years ago but have become mired in grief because of their losses. Through the story we see that surviving tragedy does not necessarily result in joy--rather it shows that survivors' guilt can stop people in their tracks and prevent them from moving on with their lives.


Posted Feb. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 77

RE: What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

I think the placement of the sculpture was interesting. I thought it was almost a warning to those out at sea and those in the town. If you could still see them then there was time to return. It survived the seas but it stood as a reminder for those in the town of those who did not survive. I think it would have made me sad to see it everyday if I lived there.


Posted Feb. 07, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 102

RE: What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

Yes, that was a very nice tie-in/connection to what was going on.

Survivors have their own type of burden that often is not recognized by others. To survive is often a burden,


Posted Feb. 07, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

Posts: 146

RE: What do you think the meaning and significance of the title and the sculpture are in the context of the book?

I agree with everyone's so very eloquently stated responses. Sculptures displayed in public are often reminders. Reminders of history/events placed in hopes that events/people aren't forgotten. Book titles can often serve the same purpose.


Posted Feb. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 261

RE: What do you think the meaning and ...

The Survivors statue represented a number of things. Not only the loss on the Mary Minerva, but the loss of Finn and Toby. It also represented those who survived those losses. The people of Evelyn Bay, but mostly the families of the two lost boys. It was a constant reminder of the lives lost, both to the water and the people whose lives were shattered by those lost to the water. You can be a Survivor but carry all the guilt of the lost lives. PTSD is based in 'survivor' guilt and the non ending questions that that guilt carries with it.


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