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Jim's awkward behavior increases the overall sinister feeling. He has
become unresponsive to Will, indicating that Will will no longer be able
to protect him from anything.
A wood-plank boardwalk lies behind the house in the alleyway. Will’s
grandfather toted the boardwalk to the alleyway when cement sidewalks
were poured all over town. At ten, Will is lying in bed thinking about
the boardwalk. The text suggests Will is waiting to hear the boardwalk
“speak.” Because boys are never direct in summoning their friends, Jim
and Will had, over the years, “tuned” the boardwalk by prying up boards
and nailing them differently. As a result, they could make various sounds
with the walk. The tune played on the walk suggested the evenings' events.
Will is desperately waiting for Jim to play some tune upon the walk. He,
however, has no idea what type of tune Jim would play for their evening
activities. As Will continues to wait, he begins to hate the idea of Jim
sitting in his room probably thinking about what he’d seen in the mirror
maze. Will particularly hates the idea that Jim has no father to stop
him, and Jim’s mother drives him to need freedom. At ten thirty-five,
Will thinks he hears Jim playing the backward tune from the calliope on
the boardwalk. Just as he glances out the window, though, he sees Jim’s
window raising up. Will realizes that it was just his imagination. He
starts to whisper to Jim, but Jim never looks toward Will and quietly
goes down the drainpipe. Will is angry that Jim seems to be ditching him.
Will silently runs after Jim, hoping he can keep up. When Jim stops, they’re
at Miss Foley’s house.
The wood-plank boardwalk in the alleyway seems to symbolize several things. It is symbolic of Will’s grandfather, a man who could, obviously, not let a new world with cement sidewalks surpass the relics of the past. He didn’t want the important things of the past to be completely left behind. The boardwalk is also highly symbolic of a language few have access to, the language of boys. Will and Jim use the boardwalk to speak to each other. When they need to do things typical of youth, they use the boardwalk to call to each other; much like Huckleberry Finn called to Tom Sawyer using cat noises. Will knows the time spent in the mirror maze changed Jim, but he doesn’t understand how. Will also seems to demonstrate some understanding of the differences between their parents. He knows that his father keeps him away from the evils Jim is attracted to. He feels sorry for the fact that Jim doesn’t have that influence in his own life. When Will finally does hear the music, it is an illusion. He does, though, happen to see Jim leaving him behind. Will cites, desperately, the similarities between the boys, as Jim leaves him. When he himself leaves, he is scared of being out alone.
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Matter, Mindy. "TheBestNotes on Something Wicked This Way Comes".
. 09 May 2017