*Warning: This post will contain spoilers for the current section and those that have come before it*
Things start to get pretty intense in these next two chapters. Lena and Alex return from the Wilds, and Lena comes home to find her paradise shattered. Her pair is coming over for lunch and she is forced to realize how close her procedure date is. How close everything is to changing forever.
Lena has a lot of conflicting emotions in this section. She tells us: ”I want Alex, and I want my old life, and I want peace and happiness and I know I can’t live without him all at the same time.” (p.333). She wants so many things and those things can`t (necessarily) coincide with one another.
And not only does she WANT different things, it’s as if her entire body is split in two. At the begiining of Chapter 19 she states:
“It’s as though my night in the Wilds has sharpened my vision around the edges. Even though everything looks superficially the same, it seems somehow different – flimsy, almost as though you could put your hand through the buildings, the sky and even the people” (p. 303-304)
But then later on in that same chapter, after reality hits her like a cold splash of water she realizes that she’s “lost control” and that she isn’t acting with clarity or rationality. Or rather what her society believes rational behaviour to be.
I’ts hard not to feel the back and forth pull along with her. I’d like to think it would be an easy choice. To choose love. To choose Alex. But at the end of the day it would be hard to make that leap. To leave behind your friends, family, everything you’ve ever known.
And if she wasn’t dealing with enough, at the end of Chapter Twenty Alex drops the ultimate bombshell!
Her mother may be alive!
This poor girl. I don’t know if I would be able to cope quite as well as she seems to. I want just want to curl up in a ball and cry. I think it was around this point that I truly began to admire Lena. She’s really started growing as a character. Started asking questions about the world she grew up in. Started questioning what love really means and whether the pain is worth it. She’s no longer the quiet, nervous little girl she was when we first met her.