Who Saw that Coming? We Did.

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First thing's first: kudos to the people in our class who answered some questions before Williams got the chance.

"'Corvus,' he said.  "Doesn't that mean raven?" (Williams 139)

Yeah, Ray, it sure does.  And I believe it was Karyssa who figured out this tidbit would be important.  I'm now fairly sure that this fact is significant enough for Williams to bluntly point it out for her not-so-ambitious readers (including myself; I would've never thought to look that up).

To everyone in the class who said that Alice was nine kinds of crazy, Ray agrees with you.

"...and the other one, who didn't even remember him, was just a madwoman." (139)

"It's breeding, maybe, Ray thought grimly, being brought up properly, and where were you brought up, Alice, he'd like to ask, in penitentiary daycare?" (142)

This last quote also supports what was mentioned in our discussion on Friday: The fact these three girls are motherless is significant, and will play a part in the life/death theme of the book.

Also, it seems that Annabel was correctly classified by the class so far.  When Corvus and Alice are discussing their encounter with Ray, and Corvus mentions death, Annabel thinks of her disgust for the dog-hair in the truck.

"I would have this vacuumed, she thought, in the most thorough way."  (148)

While Corvus is defining herself by her grief, Annabel, it seems, is trying to be above mourning, and coming off, ironically, as shallow. 

And yet, despite her seemingly superficial nature, Annabel was on the same page as everyone in the class who wondered where Social Services was in Williams' universe, and what were they going to do about Corvus.

"'Are you really going to stay around here forever, Corvus?  Won't Social Services get on your case or something?" (125)

Who knows, maybe that will end up being important after all.  I do think that, while she's inarguably strange, Alice is the one of the trio of girls who has shown actual loyalty to another person.  Here she interrupts Annabel's question to spare Corvus's feelings, earlier in the book she stayed with Corvus after her parents died, and she forced herself to go to the retirement home because it meant something to Corvus.  Annabel has expressed several times not only her desire to pretend this summer never happened once it ended, but how off-putting she finds both Alice and Corvus.  Corvus, meanwhile, is immersed in her own mourning, and while she may or may not appreciate the company she has in Alice and Annable, we haven't been as privy to her thoughts as we have to the thoughts of the other two, and her dialogue since the destruction of her house, has mainly consisted of comments about death.  This loyalty humanizes Alice, in a way not even her most outrageous quirk has managed to do




Jessie Krehlik said:

I think we mentioned in class that we thought Annabel was a little shallow too...when the girls had Ray tied up, I think Annabel made a comment about her little Tiffany's silver pill box. She said something like, "I love the inessentials." Just thought that little tidbit fit nicely with your observations.

Melissa Schwenk said:

Probably the biggest mystery about Corvus is the fact that she’s kind of forced to spend time with Annabel and Alice because where else does she have to go? The story never explains what Corvus is going to do now that she has absolutely nothing and nowhere to live. So in a way, she’s kind of made to go on this hiking trip. I think Alice feels obligated to defend Corvus, not only because they’re friends, but because most of the things that Annabel says are kind offensive.

As far as the child service people are concerned, it seems that since barely anyone seemed to know that her parents died and no one seems to have done anything about her yet. So maybe Corvus will just continue to live without anyone interfering. I mean, no one showed up for her parents’ funeral, and I’m betting that Corvus didn’t call up a lot of people and tell them about it. Therefore, it seems unlikely that people would even know it occurred leaving her with no traces back to her. Then again, maybe the ending will prove otherwise.

Jessica Orlowski said:

I believe that, after Corvus burned her house down, she lost her innocence. Destruction, after all, is a form of creation. Once Corvus was mature enough to realize this, her eyes are opened up to the world of death around her. Even though her parents died, I don't think she realized the true implications of this tragedy.

As for Alice, I believe the the reason Alice is so attached to Corvus is because Corvus is in the transitional period between the loss of innocence and the realization of adulthood and death. She is helpless. Countless times, we've seen Alice extending justice's hand to the helpless animals. Corvus is much the same.

Kayla Lesko said:

I can't really decide who gets on my nerves more, Alice or Annabel. Corvus doesn't really do anything besides mourn so I can't really come to a conclusion on her.

It seems like Alice and Annabel are each sides of a scale-one extreme to another- with Corvus somewhere in the middle or maybe not on it at all. Not really sure of another way to explain it.

Carissa Altizer said:

Alice may be coming off as shallow, but I feel like I can relate to the way she is dealing with death better than Alice and Corvus. Annabel has chosen to do her best to avoid the mourning process. I don't think that she feels she is above it, I think it hurts her too much to realize that her mother is actually gone. Not only will she need to one day accept that her mother is dead, but she'll need to come to terms with the fact that her mother was not perfect and perhaps not even the woman she is trying to remember and idolize in her mind. I admit that I probably would have thought the same thing about the dog hair in the truck. Tommy's hair was a constant reminder of Corvus' cruel neighbor and of her parents death. Sometimes, moving on and cleaning up the mess is the only thing you can do. However, I don't think that Annabelle is as ready to move on as she would like to be.

Josie Rush said:

Jessie- Good catch. See? We were so on top of everything last class, I couldn't even remember it all.
Melissa- Corvus *is* sort of in this purgatory state of life right now. She's not going anywhere, but she's not really *living* where she's at either.
And the social services thing...Well, I kind of doubt that's gonna end up being an issue, I was just mentioning it because it was a question that came up in class that also came up in the book. So at least Williams is acknowledging some semblance of normalacy as far as that goes.
Jessica- Interesting comparison of Corvus and the helpless animals Alice defends. I'm curious to hear more about your loss-of-innocence theory. So, do you feel that Annabel and Alice are more innocent than Corvus, though they've all three endured the loss of parents (though Alice and Corvus are the two orphans of the group). What do you think the main difference between Corvus and the others is? In other words, how are you describing this innocence that Corvus lost?
Carissa- I think it very well could be that later in the book Annabel reveals exactly why she's avoiding the mourning process, and it will be for the reasons you stated. At this point in the text, though, Williams hasn't really given us any reason to believe Annable is anything but shallow. She hasn't ever really come out and said, "I'm not thinking about this because it hurts too much when I do". In fact, she had the table set for her mother's birthday and tried to talk to her mother, to no avail. She was upset at that moment, but was it more due to her failure than her grief? In a book like this, when the author can, at any time, let us know any thought the character is having and not have things seem overly disjointed, I don't want to rule out that Annabel is actually a deep individual. Just at this point, Williams has had the opportunity to show us she is, and hasn't taken it.

Josie Rush said:

Jessie- Good catch. See? We'd guessed so many things, I couldn't even remember them all.
Melissa- You're right, Corvus is in sort of an emotional purgatory now, and a physical one as well.
As far as the social services thing goes, I really doubt it will end up being significant. I included it in this entry, bcuz it was something the class wondered about, and then it was addressed in the section we read immediately after the discussion. It's nice to see Williams at least acknowledging that this is an odd situation, though.
Jessica- Interesting point about Alice losing her innocence. What exactly do you mean by innocence, though? What is it that she's lost that Alice and Annabel still have, since neither of them have had an event like that to take their innocence. (I'm not being argumentative here, I'm just interested to hear more of your theory)
Carissa- I think that Annabel's behavior may eventually be shown as her avoiding grief, but it hasn't been done yet. Textually, Williams has had every opportunity to say that Annabel is avoiding mourning bcuz it will be too painful, but this hasn't been mentioned yet. Maybe it will in this last third of the book, but as of now, she seems flippant. Though, we should keep in mind that her mother did not just die a month ago (has it been a year? huh. I think maybe?), so maybe she's moving past a certain stage of mourning.

WOW you got a lot of comments on this one. Let me add another!

I'm most interested in the last part of your blog, where you comment on Alice's loyalty providing the reader with a sense of humanity present in the girl. I agree with you completely. Alice seems to be extremely considerate of Corvus, which at first seems odd for her character. However, we eventually learn that that's how she is, only for Corvus (and maybe her grandparents and those animals she freed). Did Williams ever explain how Corvus and Alice came to be friends in the first place?

Brooke Kuehn said:

I don't think Annabel is avoiding the mourning process. I think she is pushing through it. She has her ways of remembering her mom like the shrine in her bedroom involving the napkin, and the dinner in honor of her mother. I think part of the mourning process is excepting what happened, finding ways to remember and honor the deceased, and moving on from there, all of which Annabel seems to do. Yes, there are times, when mourners need to shut there minds off to the pain, but Annabel seems to have a good balance between the two.

Josie Rush said:

Brooke, I agree with you about Annabel. I think at the point in her life that is represented by the novel, she is just at a different stage of grieving, and, as you said, pushing past the mourning process. Just because someone isn't perpetually clothed in black and carrying around a box of tissues doesn't mean she hasn't "properly" mourned.
Karyssa, no, I don't think Williams ever really points that out, though speculating could be fun, while not at all productive. Allow me. Perhaps they met at a pet store, where Corvus was getting ready to enter, and a ten-year-old Alice was circling the place with gasoline?
In all seriousness, why do you think Alice forms a bond with Corvus beyond all the other characters? Maybe there's some symbolic importance here, since in your blog you mention them being referred to as the Fates.

We might be able to figure something out by analyzing the connection with the Fates. The process goes like this: Clotho (Annabel) spins the thread of life, bringing a person into existence. Lachesis (Corvus) measures how long that life will be. Atropos (Alice) is finally the one to cut the thread, to end a person's life. They're next to each other in the chain? I have no clue, really.

Jessie Krehlik said:

Good idea, Karyssa. Like most of this book, I have no clue what the inclusion of the Fates has to do with the book, but I really liked the allusion to the greek mythology here. I'm sure Williams had a very important purpose for the Fates, but it escapes me. With what you said about them being next to each other on the chain...perhaps they're a necessity for each other. You can't have one member of the Fate without the others--maybe these girls really need each other to help them deal with their issues/losses.

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Jessie Krehlik on Who Saw that Coming? We Did.: Good idea, Karyssa. Like most
Karyssa Blair on Who Saw that Coming? We Did.: We might be able to figure som
Josie Rush on Who Saw that Coming? We Did.: Brooke, I agree with you about
Brooke Kuehn on Who Saw that Coming? We Did.: I don't think Annabel is avoid
Karyssa Blair on Who Saw that Coming? We Did.: WOW you got a lot of comments
Josie Rush on Who Saw that Coming? We Did.: Jessie- Good catch. See? We'd
Josie Rush on Who Saw that Coming? We Did.: Jessie- Good catch. See? We w
Carissa Altizer on Who Saw that Coming? We Did.: Alice may be coming off as sha
Kayla Lesko on Who Saw that Coming? We Did.: I can't really decide who gets
Jessica Orlowski on Who Saw that Coming? We Did.: I believe that, after Corvus b