In these sections, Walls develops the character of Dad, provides another metaphor for her family through the Joshua tree, and establishes the theme of instability versus stability. While previous sections of The Desert provided insight into Dad's unbalanced behavior, these sections show that Dad's character is not only consistently irrational but also consistently loving to his family. Wall relates Dad's first act of love when he returns to find Jeannette on the side of the road. Not only does he assure her he will never abandon her, but he also makes a joke, calling her broken nose a "snot locker". By bringing levity to this potentially tragic moment, Dad relieves Jeannette of her fear of abandonment and restores tranquility to the situation. Similarly, when he and Jeannette hunt Demon, he does not dismiss her fears, but provides her with a way to fight them.
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