The Age of Miracles: Chapter 26-34

The search for Julia's grandfather begins and ends. Seth and Julia become closer than ever. In "The Age of Miracles," chapters 26-34, the book comes to an end, many important events occur, and many things are revealed. The world is drastically changing. Seth and Julia catch Sylvia and her dad together in person. Julia's grandfather's whereabouts are finally discovered. Seth develops a bad case of the sickness and leaves for Mexico. Julia grows up and learns how to cope...with everything.

One important theme that is evident throughout the entirety of the novel, "The Age of Miracles," is this: We often overlook the unremarkable acts that occur around us all the time - especially in times of disaster. The central conflict of the novel is based on and around catastrophe and is viewed through Julia's perspective, who doesn't notice the good things going on around her until she looks back on her life. Julia states in the last paragraph, "But among the artifacts that will never be a certain patch of sidewalk on a California street where once, on a dark afternoon...two kids knelt down together on the cold ground. We dipped our fingers in the wet cement, and we wrote the truest, simplest things we knew - our names, the date, and these words: we were here." Julia looks back on her life when it was at the lowest, most disastrous point, and pointed out good, comforting memories that at the time, didn't even seem significant at all. 

When disaster strikes the earth, society can only do one thing: go into chaotic mode. Because of this, in the novel when the slowing strikes, society turned to chaos, and as a result began undergoing changes. These changes have an effect on the characters and the decisions they make. For example, the slowing causes radiation to spike dangerously during the daylight hours, causing society to stay out of the sun and block sunlight out of their homes. We already know from previous chapters the idea of clock-time and the separation between that and real time. The characters and their behavior are affected because of these changes. Most people become more cautious while others try to escape it (which unfortunately has led to suicide). Julia's mother focus's on safety and stays very cautious. Julia's father even seems to be more "on edge" and cautious as the story comes to an end. Risk is also something that seems to increase in the people of that society. Julia tries harder to make friends and be social, which is something she doesn't usually do.

Karen Thompson Walker chooses her diction and voice carefully to create tone and mood in her novel, which positively affects my view and perspective on the work. The diction of the novel is simple and easy, and though that may seem like a bad thing, it makes the story much more understandable. The story is told in the perspective of an 11-year-old girl, so the simple diction allows the reader to make connections with the story while keeping the words accurate to the mind of a young girl. Throughout the simplicity of the novels diction, the author also throws in some more complicated/complex diction to add thought-provoking ideas, as well as some scientific aspects into the story. Page 237, for example, states, "Dead trees make good kindling. The smoke had drifted south to us, thinning to a whitish haze that produced in our skies an unfamiliar shine, still brilliant but diffuse." This sentence, like quite a few others throughout the book, uses more complex diction to trigger imagery and thought. This simplicity with a casual stop in from more complex words brings off positivity and connection to the work, despite the disastrous conflict the characters face.

The End

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