The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The novel “” narrates about thewriter’s childhood. Through flashback the author recounts hischildhood horrors and adventures. The story is characterized bymystical stories and explore into the fears children normally haveand the kind of friendship they share with their playmate.
Immortal beings intertwined in the story
One of the immortal being present in “The Ocean at the End of theLane” is Ursula Monkton, according to the narrator Ursula is adetestable creature who has brought evil in his home. When on a tourin the “ocean” the children come across a creature which followsthe narrator in incarnated form. This monster pretends to be a househelp and is hired to take care of the narrator and his sister. Ursulathe house help claims that she can grant wishes to everyone and sheseems to succeed in this. Ursula is depicted as evil personified andis brought to life by the author imagination which evokes terror thatthe author went through as a child. This character haunts the authorfrom the day she enters her home to an extent that he runs away. Wealso learn that the small piece of the worm which symbolizes themonster Ursula almost consumed the narrator hearts but he was helpedby the Hempstock.
In the book the narrator has a guardian angel that comes in the formof a friend called Lettie. Lettie offered the narrator protectionfrom magic and dark forces that are unleashed. Lettie and her familyare depicted by the narrator as supernatural beings: the fact thatthe boy saw Lettie for the first time at the crime scene and sheclaimed to have known the boy all along, while as the boy had notseen her before. Lettie and her family her mum and her grandmotherhave powers and are able to save live. A good example is when Lettiecalls for the hunger bird to come destroy Ursula Monkton. The role ofLettie in the narrator life is to help him discover himself, becomestronger and more braver (Watts, 11)
The death of Opal Miner a man who had boarded with at the narratorhome is bizarre thus, introducing the reader to unordinary happeningsin the novel. We further learn about the pond which the author refersto as the ocean, this pool is magical from the author’s descriptionof the pond. In this book the “ocean” is used to symbolizemystery and the unknown since no one can tell what is at it deep end.Additionally the ocean is a symbol of truth and hope and representslife, the waves are the trouble people go through (Byatt).
The hunger birds are supernatural ageless being, also referred to asthe cleaners, they come to the narrator home after Lettie requestedfor them. According to the narrator this supernatural’s were meantto get lid of Ursula Monkton. However, after completing their missionthe monster turns their fury towards the narrator threatening to killhim. The reason for this is because a piece of worm that had enteredthe narrator foot when he was attacked by a worm at the pond, stillremained in him. To save the boy Lettie must die on his behalf, thusshe sacrifices her own life for the sake of the boy.
The Hempstock’s women, this character are strong supernaturalbeings who are considered as maker. Their role in this book is tohelp the narrator overcome his childhood terrors and help him facethe evil in his home “Ursula Monkton (Whiz).” The narratordescribes them as powerful and kind people who occasionally save hislife. Lettie is the youngest of the Hempstocks, she promises thenarrator to protect him in chapter three “I will make sure you aresafe (Gaiman, 19).” Other Evidence supporting the fact that Lettieis not ordinary are when she tries to bring the ocean to the boy. Sheadmits to him that she could not take him to ocean but could bringthe ocean to him in order to protect him from the hunger birds. Welearn that Lettie is immortal because according to her oldgrandmother Miss Hemstock Lettie did not die rather the ocean tookher and would let her free when it saw it necessary to do so.
“” is a fairytale about a childexperience. The book is filled with both good and bad event and thereare two forces at work in this book the good versus evil. TheHempstock represent the good while as the Ursula Monkton and thehungry bird represent evil. In the end the good wins over the evil.
As supernatural’s the Hempstock from a deeper perspective are thecreators and protectors of life: Old Mrs. Hempstock is wise and offerwise advice to Lettie, Lettie offers her life to saves the narratorslife while her mother cares for nature and the community as well.Thus, the Hempstock play a huge role in protecting life. Thedestroyers are the hungry birds who kills Ursula and attempts to killthe narrator and Ursula Monkton who succeed in destroying thenarrator family after sleeping with his father. Thus, the writer andhas managed to interweave the mortals and immortals and come up withbrilliant story the keeps the reader glued to it to the end.
Gaiman, Neil. . New York, NY:William Morrow, 2013. Internet resource.
As Byatt. . The guardian(2013) Retrieved fromhttp://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/03/ocean-end-lane-gaiman-reviewon 22/4/2014
G Whiz. Ocean at the End of the Lane – 101 Amazingly True Facts.101BookFacts.com (pub-5999650418488591).(2014). Retrieved fromhttp://books.google.co.ke/books?id=LW-RAgAAQBAJ&printsec.On 22/4/2014.
Lofuto, Tina "With, fantasy master Neil Gaiman presentsa mythical view of childhood`s fears"(2013). Nashville Scene. Retrieved 22/4/2014
Watts, James. Review:“ by Neil Gaiman is otherworldlybrilliance" (2013).. Tulsa World.Retrieved 22/4/2013.