In the Small - Pages 16 through 30 Summary & Analysis

Michael Hague
This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of In the Small.
This section contains 1,044 words
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Pages 16 through 30 Summary

George had been outside when the blue light struck. He has shrunk in size and is standing next to a giant shovel. Apparently, he was working in the garden. He is terrified when he sees a frog that is much larger than he is and a bee that is about the same size as he. He's worried about his family and he climbs through the yard, which is now like a jungle, and struggles to get back. But since he's so small, he gets confused and lost and can't find his way.

Back inside, Beatrix and Mrs. Willow take a huge screwdriver and open the window so Beatrix can crawl out and look for her grandfather. Once she gets outside, Beatrix desperately calls for him. Meanwhile, George is completely confused about what has taken place. Beatrix walks around outside. She is frightened of the animals in case they, too, weren't shrunk. She decides to try to protect them and fashions a weapon out of a scrap of wood. As George is trying to make it back to the house, he encounters a huge snake. It's about to attack him when suddenly Beatrix appears and stabs it with her make-shift weapon.

Beatrix pulls her grandfather along toward the house. He gets winded and wants to rest. She warns him that they have to move along. They don't know what dangers they may encounter. Beatrix finds a scrap of cloth that George can cover himself with. Beatrix sees something ahead. Unfortunately, it's a huge black cat who has the body of a human hanging from his mouth. It terrifies them. They rush back to the house and Mrs. Willow helps pull them through the window back to safety. She is very upset that her daughter had battled a snake in the yard. Beatrix and her grandfather are thirsty from their escape from the yard. George struggles to get the top off a plastic bottle of water but finally gets it open and pours water in a saucer where they all drink from.

Beatrix wonders about her friends at school. She theorizes that the blue light was nature's way of protecting itself from its biggest enemy - man. It's called the Gaia effect. The other creatures weren't a threat to earth. That's why they weren't targeted. Mouse had told her all about the theory. The phone rings. How will they answer that huge thing?!

Back in the office, Mr. Willow had been stranded on top his desk. He isn't sure what happened to everyone else. Mouse and the others find him. He climbs climbs down the phone cable to get the floor. Mouse is sure that the blue light impacted the entire earth and everyone is now small. It was the exact vision he had. Will tells Mr. Willow that some people didn't make it. Eight of their co-workers are dead and another ten are badly injured. Mouse tells his father that they have to get out of the building if they are to survive. They will have to leave the dead and injured behind. But Mr. Willow says that he cannot leave the people he worked with for fifteen years. But Mouse reminds him that there are no doctors, hospitals or police. They must leave in order to have a chance at survival.

Alan, the head of the company, declares that it's obvious that they were the victims of a terrible terrorist attack. Will disagrees. How could terrorists make them shrink to six inches in size. Alan does not want to listen to what Mouse has to say. He's just an intern. When Will disagrees again, Alan tells him he's fired. Alan reminds him that there's a new reality - that there's nothing to get fired from! Everything has been destroyed. Alan agrees to listen to what Mouse has to say.

Mouse tells the others that he's had visions as long as he can remember. One of his visions was that humanity would end with atomic bombs or viral disease. But earlier that day, he saw a vision about the blue light. He now envisions their demise if they stay there. He foresees a safe place where they can stay. They all hoist one of Alan's golf clubs into the hall so they can reach the elevator button. They are able to push the down button. They take the elevator to the lobby. When they arrive in the lobby, they find total destruction. There are fires and crumbled concrete and bent steel beams. Mouse finds a path and leads the others to the outside.

Pages 16 through 30 Analysis

The world has become a new reality. Now a simple garden snake and a house cat are seen as menaces. The author is creating a new world in which man does not dominate. People are left without clothes and with no defenses against the dangers that are part of this new existence - much as it was for man when he first evolved. Beatrix is proving to be a brave and a loving granddaughter. She is heroic when trying to locate her grandfather and fighting off the garden snake that now appears as big as a dragon. That she was able to create a weapon from scraps she found in the yard shows her intelligence and adaptability. She also shows that although she is naturally frightened, she is determined that she and her family will survive this horrible tragedy.

The reader is given a hint as to what happened. Rather than an alien attack, the possibility has been presented that perhaps it is Mother Earth herself that is relegating man to a lesser status - something referred to as the Gaia effect. The other animals and plants have been spared. Of all the creatures on earth, man is the only one who tampers with the environment and with nature itself. Perhaps earth wants to return nature to its original pristine condition and sees man as the obstacle in doing so. The message of this story may be environmental in nature.

Mouse's psychic powers predicted the event but he didn't have time to warn anyone. In order to survive, the others may have to rely on Mouse to keep them out of danger.

This section contains 1,044 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
In the Small from BookRags. (c)2017 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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