"Jesus! You startled me," Sherwin said. "My heart went skippety."
"I loathe that movie," the woman said. "It's been in there for a month. She smiled at him thinly, a hefty broad with sunken eyes wearing some sort of partygoing apparatus with gauzy overlays, the kind hefty broads ofttimes wore. She looked familiar, as though he'd seen her in a photograph somewhere, but a specific photograph, framed.
"So you slipped away from the party, too," Sherwin said.
"Some time ago," Ginger said. "Tell me, how did you find your way in here?"
--Williams, pg. 293
I was so excited when I read this part of the book--not the part where Sherwin dies, but the fact that I was actually right for once. Ginger isn't a figment of Carter's imagination! I knew it! I blogged about this in my preliminary blog about The Quick and the Dead. Williams did an excellent job with this ambiguity. Throughout the whole book, there were hits that Ginger might be a ghost--but then there were also hints that she was just a figment of Carter's imagination.
Williams brings Ginger into the scene in a very eerie way. And I thought it was quite interesting that she decided to kill Sherwin, who really didn't do anything to her, since she died before having met him. I love the dramatic irony in this section. The readers know that Sherwin is not speaking with a live person--but Sherwin has no clue. Williams does an excellent job of concealing Ginger's "identity." She continuously refuses the cigarette, not because she doesn't want it, but because she obviously cannot smoke it. This is curious, however, because there was a time earlier in the novel when Ginger was asking Cater questions in his room and dropped something on the floor.
"Cater feared he'd find it on the floor in the morning and watched carefully as she placed the button in her pocket" (34). This was one of the reasons that I initially thought Ginger was actually part of his imagination. However, she just seemed to know too much--more than his conscious even. Her suggestions to invest in the stock market was another clue, but at the same time, it wasn't. Williams really got her readers with this one. She really could've had Ginger go either way "Figment of imagination" or "phantom."