Free Study Guide for Something Wicked This Way Comes|
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FREE PLOT SUMMARY-SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES
The passage of time in this chapter further symbolizes the profound
difference between youth and age. Will is slowly beginning to notice how
quickly time passes and how important time is to adults, as all of their
shops are closed by the ninth stroke of the clock.
Charles Halloway leaves the saloon, but as he does, a premonition seems to overtake him. He seems to believe that the premonition could have been caused by a number of things, but he settles on the idea that it was caused by a man he saw hanging posters as he was in the saloon. The man was in a dark suit. He had paper in one hand and a bucket of paste in another. As he brushed the paste, he whistled a Christmas tune. Halloway shivers at the emotional baggage of the tune.
As Halloway leaves the saloon, the whistling man begins working silently, and he vanishes into an empty shop with his work. Halloway follows him, watching his work. As Halloway arrives at the other side of the street, the mysterious man steps out of the shop entrance and gestures to Halloway. Halloway notices that the man's palm is covered with "fine, black silken hair." The man departs, leaving Halloway to stare into the window of the empty shop where two sawhorses stand next to each other, with a block of ice, six feet long resting on them. One side of the window displays a placard that tells of a show. The placard suggests the block of ice is one of the many attractions: the most beautiful woman in the world.
The text allows Halloway to travel back in his memories, harkening back
to the traveling magicians' shows of his childhood. He dismisses the thought,
thinking the ice is simply frozen river water, but at a glance, he allows
himself to believe she (the most beautiful woman in the world) exists
in the ice. He wants to leave, but his curiosity forces him to stare at
the block of ice in the window for some time.
Halloway's premonitions, capped by the strange man whistling a tune that saddens Halloway, furthers the sense of foreboding the novel has already created. The whistled tune, Longfellow’s “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” was written in 1864 during the American Civil War. It reflects the despair and hopelessness brought about by the war. It creates sadness in Halloway. The block of ice between the sawhorses boosts the sense of lost youth. He desperately wants to believe the lost mermaid of the magic shows of his youth lies within that block of ice, but his conscience tells him she does not exist. Despite the warning, however, Halloway stares at the mysterious ice for some time.
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Matter, Mindy. "TheBestNotes on Something Wicked This Way Comes".
. 09 May 2017