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Bewildering Stories

Carol Reid responds to Challenge 273

“The Fracture”

Danielle Spinks’ “The Fracture” is a symbolic fantasy. Does it contain a key to the symbolism? If so, what is it?

Whew! That is some carnival! If I had time (precious commodity this week in particular) I could write a paper on the symbolism in this piece, which I think is open to many different and fascinating interpretations. If I had to pick the most obvious (to me) key, I’d say the story depends on the swing. And I think a plausible case could be made that this story is about manic depression. I’d love to hear other readers’ comments.

Copyright © 2008 by Carol Reid

As our Challenge explanation says, we don’t expect term papers. But if anyone were inspired to write one, I’m sure we’d be glad to consider it. Bipolar mood “swings” is novel idea; at least it’s one that hadn’t occurred to me. It may be worth following up.

Considering the swing as a leitmotif, I got lost at first at the point where the action goes under water. But then I thought: well, why not under water; it’s an extension of the arc of the swing to a planetary scale.

If we follow the progression from a little girl on a swing to the end, where she’s representative of her species, I think we’ll find that the story is an allegory of human progress or evolution.

Too bad we can’t write Danielle Spinks and check out our ideas with her. Her e-mail bounces. She can send but not receive.


Copyright © 2008 by Don Webb

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