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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


What makes the Titanic so noteworthy among so many sunken vessels?

Mystery feeds our curiosity and our desire for knowledge. Whether the mystery is a crime, or a search for science, or to understand a new language, it sparks an interest. We become motivated to listen, to study, and to invest ourselves in the outcome.

Mystery with mythic impact pulls us into both story and illumination. Characters and readers dig deeper to discover truth.

In the novel Elidor, Alan Gardner uses disbelief to bridge, first, the children’s entrance into the land, and then, Elidor’s entrance into their own world. The characters repeatedly insist these things can’t be happening, that there must be an explanation, or it was a dream. With each major transition in the story the disbelief, the impossible, is emphasized. Dealing with the impossible heightens the action, as well as the mystery.

Roland, the youngest, alone continues to insist on examining the odd occurrences and trying to find a solution. Over and over the children try to ignore, forget, disbelieve the strange circumstances surrounding them, but with each impossible occurrence they are forced back into their relationship with Elidor.

At the end, what cannot be explained or necessarily believed is real.

And sometimes the questions raised still simmer, as in the Titanic. Questions continue to keep its tragedy of interest a century later.

Journal Prompt:

Write your own possible reasons for questions surrounding the pendant. 1) What reason did her fiancée really have for purchasing it? 2) Why did Rose keep it hidden all those years? 3) Why did she throw it into the ocean, and not give it to her granddaughter or a museum? Write your ideas from a character perspective, and a plot perspective.

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