Time of the Ghost, Spoilers, Questions on the Ending

Kyla Tornheim kyla at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Thu Apr 5 14:17:40 EDT 2001

On Thu, 5 Apr 2001, Ven wrote:
> Kyra said,
> > He-he - I'm glad to see that Imo was someone else's favorite,
> > too.  It always alarms me slightly - because Cart is clearly DWJ's mapping
> > of herself, and so I feel somewhat guilty.  But of course it was probably
> > intentional, and if I were doing the same kind of thing, I would try to
> > make my mapping less sympathetic too.  No need for arrogance.  And, of
> > course, Cart _is_ easily my second favorite.
> Hmm, I always thought Sally mapped better onto Dwj. My evidence 
> for this is purely circumstantial, Diana = the Roman name for 
> Artemis, the moon goddess, Selina = selene, greek word for the 
> moon. TOG is dedicated to a friend called "Hat", who, on the 
> similarity of names I assumed was Cart. However I suspect soem 
> mix and match between the characters, as it is fiction after all. 
Clever about the names, Ven. I hadn't thought of that, and I'm obsessed
with names.

My opinion, though, formed when I read that DWJ had two sisters, not
three, was that Cart and Sally, as the oldest two, were *both* DWJ. Cart
makes clothes for her sisters as DWJ did and gets the horrible comment
from Phyllis that she "has all the brains and none of the looks in the
family," which sounds like DWJ's mother's terming her ugly and assuming
that she's the one who will go to school (although mother says she'll
fail. What a horrible woman! Bits of her definitely got put into Amanda
and Zillah's mother, and Aunt Maria. Gah!)

Sally's the one who always wants to draw, as DWJ did; but it's also that I
think that DWJ couldn't simply have inserted a fictional sister into this
closely knit trio. All four of them had to have bits of real people,
because without that they wouldn't have had a real relationship.

Perhaps that's why Sally's the ghost--we see a trio of sisters, all very
real, and the fourth, that we're told about, is mostly with the others as
an observer. And that works better, because I know that I've occasionally
mentally stepped back and watched myself, or tried to imagine watching
myself. I also think, though, that Sally is the most fuzzily drawn of the
characters--not the ghost, who is most of Sally's stage time, or whatever
you want to call it--the ghost has a very clear personality. But after
Sally, Cart seems the most unclear to me--more a collection of
attributes. It always seemed a bit surprising to me that Cart was the one
who made up the worship of Monigan. It doesn't seem quite right. But if I
mentally combine Cart and Sally, and ignore Sally's normality, then I come
up with more of a complete person.

Stopping babbling now.

The imaginary friends I had as a kid dropped me because 
their friends thought I didn't exist.
       --Aaron Machado

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