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STUDY GUIDE - THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS
Wish For What You Want. Work For What You Need. - Carmenís grandmother
The scene opens with Lena. Effie was ecstatically telling her sister about kissing the waiter that she had been attracted to at the café. Lena wondered how they had come from the same parents when they were so different. It made Lena miserable that Effie found it so easy to talk to and make out with boys while she was far too shy and unable to even flirt effectively. So, she picked up her sketch pad and began to sketch a face. Her fingers flew across the page until it came time to draw the mouth, the most difficult part. She closed her eyes and tried to imagine his mouth and just as she did, she suddenly looked up and out to see Kostos standing outside her window. Her heart began to beat in a flat-out sprint.
The scene changes again, this time to Bee. She had just awakened when all the girls in the cabin came over to find out what happened the night before. She hadnít imagined that the telling of it would be too personal; she thought it would just be about bragging that it had happened. So, she insisted to them nothing had happened. All the girls, except Diana, move away, disappointed that Bee hadnít made good on her promise. But Diana felt intuitively that something had gone on and she asked Bee if she were all right. Bridget just insisted that she was tired and said she would follow them to breakfast later. Then, she curled back up in the sleeping bag and went back to sleep. During the rest of the day, several girls came in to check on her, but she decided to stay where she was. She couldnít explain what was wrong with her. She, who was always hungry, didnít even want to eat. When Diana noted the strangeness of that, Bee answered, ďI contain multitudes,Ē which she thought was a line from a poem her father used to read to her.
Carmen wrote several versions of letters
to apologize to her dad and pay to replace the window, but the last one was another
sarcastic complaint of what his family was now like. She even added a P.S. to
Lydia telling her that her wedding dress made her arms look fat.
In the end, Carmen stuffed the money for the window in padded envelope without any note at all. She made sure the return address was very clear and then promptly left for the post office before it closed.
The scene moves once again to Lena. She was laying on the cool tile floor on a sweltering afternoon thinking about Bee. She knew that Bridget usually sailed along just fine, but once in awhile she crashed on the rocks. It reminded her of a dream she had had where she was a small white house clinging to the side of a cliff. She had to hold on tight, because it was a long fall into a cauldron far below. A part of her wanted to release her fingers and fall, but the other part of her knew you couldnít fall just for the thrill of it.
With her grandmother sitting there sewing, Lena was prompted to ask why Kostos lived with his grandparents and Grandma sadly explained that his family had lived in America where there had been a car accident, killing both his parents and his little brother. So he was sent back to Greece to his grandparents. This story made Lena finally tell her grandmother the truth - Kostos had never hurt her. Her grandmother sighed as if in relief and admitted that she had come to realize that after some time had passed. She then had to turn over to hide her tears as she realized how sad it was that people like Kostos and Bee, who had lost everything, were still open to love while she, who had lost nothing, was not.
For each character in this chapter, there are moments of introspection at some sense of loss. Lena recognizes that in some way she is missing something - the ability to be open to love. Bee realizes that what she has done has much more of an impact on her than she ever thought it would. And Carmen, who canít openly apologize for what she has done to her father, must curl up with a little cat called guilt.Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version