Layers – Part 2

Now that the novel has reached a point where the gap between the present and past is closing (or at least it seems like that to me), the story is getting more complex, or more layered, in terms of aspects of the past being incorporated into the present. Additionally in this section of the reading, I began questioning what is real and what Ginny is making up. This was especially true on pages 134-136. Lucious Wilson had just proposed to Ginny, to which she denied, but he still allowed her to stay and work for him. Page 134 seems to start in a more present time than the proposal occurred, however I got the impression that she was still at Lucious Wilson’s: “This morning there was a light-skinned colored man come riding down the road that cuts through the middle of Lucious Wilson’s lands…” Within that same page, Ginny switches to the time (in the past) that she left her “four-square kingdom” and walked to the Ohio river where she met a ferryman. The “black bark” is mentioned as being in her pocket and Alcofibras is exposed as the ferryman on page 135 – shocking, because by this time Alcofibras is dead. If this is just a hallucination on Ginny’s part, where is the indication that this is so? Did she really meet this ferryman or even go to the Ohio River? If this is some sort of reflection or dream, what other parts of the novel are actually real and which are fiction?


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