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essay #1 enl3 - Fong 1 Timothy Fong Eric OBrien English 003...

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Fong 1 Timothy Fong Eric O’Brien English 003 28 April 2009 Trapped. “As he lay in bed that night he tried to imagine what she might have set down in her letter, what professions of love, what unhappiness, what nonsense, what shame, what news of the planet of her childhood” (Chabon 445). As the adolescent Nathan Shapiro, from “The Lost World” by Michael Chabon, attempts to fall asleep, he is plagued by curiosity of the lost letter from his childhood friend, Chaya Feldman. This blatant hope of a reference to the imaginary planet created during their childhood is his desire to cling on to the lost world of his past and to avoid the world of reality. As a result, Nathan retreats into the comforts of his past; manifest in the form of Chaya. However, the there are uncertainties about what exactly is the lost world. The character Chaya creates Nathan’s symbolic lost world to be a world in which he is trapped. The letters that Nathan later receives from both his father and Chaya are the deciding factors which both stimulate and exterminate his lost world and pushing him into the realm of change he attempts to avoid. On the night Nathan receives his first letter, he reencounters Chaya, reminding him of the comforting and blissful experience in creating the planet of his youth. After Nathan refers to this memory, he realizes the threat that his friends impose on his “blissful Sunday afternoons he had ever passed with some child with whom he never played again” (Chabon 438). Nathan’s friends
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Fong 2 threaten his past by bringing up the fact that Chaya has become a “Skeezer”. However, Nathan initially denies this idea which is his way of preserving the past and avoiding change. He denies the fact that Chaya has changed; being shocked that she is taller has developed breasts and has ultimately developed into a woman. Thus, this memory becomes very special to him; one of the memories that becomes crisp and clear due to the very nature which it was created. His detailed account of the memory even includes the name of the planet, Jadis. Jadis, French for past, places Nathan as in “intergalactic castaway trying to survive in a windy grassy world” (Chabon 438). Similarly pretend character, Nathan is now alone. He is unlike his new friends. He is separate, one who is forced and persuaded to do little feats. He has only started to leave his shoes untied like his friends. Furthermore, he is in a world of chaos where he cannot find a connection to the real world. He, like his imaginary character, is in a state of turmoil in the form of puberty, separation of parents, and the prospects of a new brother which leaves him ultimately alone in a world of change.
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