Flights: A Novel - Vignettes 19 - 32 Summary & Analysis

Olga Tokarczuk
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Summary

In vignette 19, “Trains for Cowards,” the narrator describes night trains and the people who travel on them. She describes the sleeper compartments with their miniature washbasins, the café car where the travelers gather, and identifies trains by their place of departure and destination. She believes the people that ride them are mostly “embarrassed” because they are afraid of flying. Therefore, the train keeps a “low profile” and boarding of the passengers is “discreet” (61). She details the night these cowards could have possibly enjoyed instead if they had taken a plane and arrived much sooner at their destination, such as “an evening Mozart concert at a cathedral” (61).

Then the narrator describes the journey of the train, how “nothing can be skipped, nothing bypassed. Every millimeter of the way will be touched by the wheel” (62). Regardless, it will be “an unrepeatable configuration for all time...

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This section contains 2,039 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Flights: A Novel Study Guide
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