[percy-l] Pages 199 to 250 of The Second Coming - Janet Cantor continues the slow read

honeyjbc1 . honeyjbc at gmail.com
Mon Sep 5 15:04:26 EDT 2016

We are back with Allison as she is trying to figure out how to bring that
mammoth, all purpose stove into place. Like an innocent creature from outer
space who does not know how to use our language, Allison uses what her
visitor told her, and her own wits, which we see are considerable, to bring
that miracle about.
In her Miranda way she is helping the reader to observe ordinary behaviors
in new ways. Percy has some fun with the reader.
Allison displays extraordinary skills at engineering concepts and physics.

As she goes shopping, she is pleased that this time "she had all the words
and got the things without pointing..."

When she asks for the "man", and is told she must mean Mister Barrett, she
wonders if it was her imagination or did she detect a certain affection in
his voice for his employer. Thus does Percy sweetly gives us a good view of
Will from his employee's perspective.

Page 204 - again sunlight bejewels her eyelashes. I don't know why but I
enjoy pointing out these frequent references to reflected light. I guess it
harks back to that beautiful way Jay Tolson speculated on what Percy was
trying to say.

While Allie is working her machinations, Will is taking pleasure in his own
explorations.. He carries out his plan which seems airtight to him. He will
test every possible source, religion, or lack of, to see if he will be
given an answer.

I don't know about you but this whole part of this otherwise darling,
lovable book, made me distinctly uncomfortable. I don't know if if is the
fear of his never being found, or of his being in an unpredictable tight
space, but I never enjoy reading this part of the book.

Will has his pills at the ready, and if no answer comes, at least Sutter
will get the insurance money and he will get the suicide his father
presaged. He takes comfort in his whole idea. Once again Percy offers the
theme that the option and availability of suicide can be comforting..

This sequence finally ends with Will falling again. Not to worry. Allison
is there to pick him up again. Did Will get an answer? We readers know that
he did. But he hasn't figured that out, yet.

Let's take a bite out of Part Two:

Page 233 - Allison gives us more information about herself. She knows a
great deal. She does better on her own, when no one is watching. As soon as
someone is looking at her, she falls apart. Somehow, Will's watching does
not bother her, in the same way as the dog's watching. Trust.
She decides her best job is to be a nurse for comatose patients.

She has hoisted her stove into place. She still has the equipment and knows
how to use it. She hoists Will onto the bed.

Next following musings about love and home and making merry. These are
original in Allison's peculiar voice and so special to read. They conclude
on the top of 242.

Considerations of remunerations and thoughts of a job come.

On page 247 there is her analysis analysis of how glorious it is to have a
job where someone tells you what to do and pays you for doing it.  An
accomplishment for both. How happy people with jobs must be!
This would be funny at any time, but especially these days it made me laugh
out loud.  Percy thought he was exposing unnecessary complaints from
employed people. How Percy would be shocked today to confront our
entitlement culture.

Reminiscent of Binx's cousin taking orders from him in the Epilogue of the
Moviegoer, and feeling safe as long as he tells her what to do, here we
have Allison delighted with her new milestone as she goes about carrying
out Will's orders in her new "job."

She tells Dr. Battle what is going on and the outside world will begin to
deal with Will again.

Things I liked:

Page - 199 - Allison realizes if she can hoist this monster of a Grand
Crown stove, she could do anything life.

Page 201 - "Have a nice day..." For some reason people had stopped saying
goodbye. Very well." Another lesson learned and another cute jab from Percy
at goofy empty niceties.

Page 216  end and so on - Why did G-d make ugly girls?  He can make her
happy, and maybe that is why they were made. Maybe that is a plan. He could
make ugly girls happy and selfish him less selfish.
Then she smiles and she is not ugly.

He notices the cicada shell, which the insect had left, just as he will
later come out of HIS cave, which will mean coming out of his isolation.
And just so Allison will emerge.

Page  234 - When Will, a stranger falls into the greenhouse, the dog growls
and takes his hand into his mouth ready to protect his mistress, but the
dog recognizes him and lets the hand slip out of his mouth. "The furious
growl wound down to become an apology."
This helps Allison to see Will can be trusted.

Okay everybody, summer's over.
 Someone come on in and share this conversation, comment, analyze. Don't
leave me stranded by myself in the greenhouse. The Garden of Eden may have
been empty and isolated. But Percy is about to bring in the real world. I
would like to ask the rest of the Percy List to mimic that and join me in
this discussion.
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