Until the Slowing Stops

By the end of Chapter Sixteen of The Age of Miracles, "the days [have] swelled to forty-two hours" (pg 122) and societal divisions begin to become apparent as the chasm grows between "clock-timers" and "real-timers". 

In hopes of restoring order, the government has suggested that Americans remain on a twenty-four-hour clock, despite the lengthening days. Many people, however, are resistant to this idea because they want to remain in sync with the light and dark. Julia notes that these ideas are quickly becoming antiquated and losing their meaning: "After a while, certain vestigial sayings are all that remain...we do still have daydreams and nightmares, and the early morning hours are still known colloquially as the crack of dawn" (pg 89). 

As the days wear on, Julia not only deals with the Slowing, but also faces more practical problems, such as the erosion of friendship and the betrayal of a parent. 

Hanna returns from her family's hiatus to Utah, but does not tell Julia. When she sees her at school, Hanna all but ignores her and seems to be consumed by her budding friendship with her new friend, Tracy. During this confrontation, Julia learns that not all friendships can weather the catastrophe that is middle school.

At the end of Chapter Sixteen, Julia catches her father being unfaithful with Sylvia, someone she has defended as her mother when her mother criticized her. We don't yet know how Julia reacts to this episode, but we can imagine that it will cause her to question many things about her world.

"People were doing crazy things all over the world. Everyone was taking new chances, big risks. But not me. I kept quiet. I held my secrets tight" (pg 127). When faced with times of turmoil, people either withdraw into themselves or lash out and become someone else. If I were dealing with the prospect of the end of the world, as Julia is, I believe I would react similarly: play it safe and keep quiet until the Slowing comes to a stop. 

The End

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