The Silence - Chapters 19 - 24 Summary & Analysis

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Summary

Diane feels compelled to speak, even though she does not know what she may say. She begins by reflecting on her career as a professor, admitting that she feels like a failure “who quit too soon,” “a would-be inspiration” (104). She mentions “the end-of-the-world movie” and tries to imagine the chaos outside on the city streets, but is reluctant to look out the window herself. She believes that whatever is happening now was inevitable. She wonders whether she is making any sense, but no one is listening to her. She expresses the desire to return to teaching. She wants to teach “the principles of physics” to her students (105). Before ending her soliloquy she quotes a line from “Finnegans Wake” that has been stuck in her mind for a long time. Then, telling herself, “shut up, Diane,” she falls into silence (105).

Looking down at the...

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