Whirligig Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 59 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Whirligig.
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Restitution and Punishment

Whirligig has much to say about the nature of punishment and retribution in the Brent chapters. The first chapter sets up the event from which everything else in the book results, directly or indirectly. Brent tries to kill himself, although he admits that to no one until near the very end of his story. He fails to kill himself and can hardly believe that he tried, but he kills someone else in the attempt. He was drunk at the time, which makes him liable legally for the consequences. He is relieved that he does not have to serve a sentence at a detention center, but he also feels an "unanswered hunger" that he recognizes as a need for punishment. He needs to leave his family and his previous life behind. He needs some something dramatic, to acknowledge the "murderous machine" he set in motion, as he...

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This section contains 1,224 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Whirligig Study Guide
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