1. What are some of the contrasting images seen in the very beginning of this book?
Most visitors to his mother's seaside resort, the Bayview Hotel on Morecambe Bay, suffer from tuberculosis and Reeda Parks can see beyond the horror in ways her son cannot. One day Cy sees vivid images in the discharge basin and forgets to feel disgusted. Perhaps it is prophecy, or perhaps the devil has painted this little picture. Cy's next confusion comes from secretly watching mother care for sobbing women who visit in the middle of the night. Reeda has a helper who Cy recognizes. Any trouble in town usually involves Cy and two pals, Jonty Preston and Morris Gibbs. Jonty's mother Muriel is Reeda's secret partner, bringing the implements from "The Surgery," her home office. These two images juxtaposed present a contrasting view of Reeda. In one, she is the angel of mercy, caring for ill adults who have TB. In the other, she is the angel of death, where she helps woman abort, and hence kill, their unborn fetuses.
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