Friday, November 20, 2020

Fin.

Looking into the world from Beyond the Veil and the folklore that surrounds it.
Part 10. 
To my dearest friends and followers,

This is the final week of my 10 week series of analyzing my young adult fantasy novel, The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1)!! For anyone who might be new here, you can find part 1 by clicking here, From Beyond the Veil (if you are using the desktop version). Or, if you are using a mobile device, you can begin with the article published on September 3rd by clicking here.

Chapter 36 picks up mid-dialogue that began in the previous chapter. Hollyhocks has just learned that Jack died, and wonders how it is that he is still "alive". We learn a little about his past life and what it is that made him who he is now. This character was extremely fun to write, even though he really only appears in the last 5 chapters of the book. He was influenced by one of my favorite characters ever written, Peter Pan. He is youthful, frozen in time, and arrogant and charming all at once.
The stories of Jack Frost go way back, where he actually originated as two different beings: Nordic gods, or giants. One was named Jokul (Icicle) and the other was named Frosti (Frost). Somehow the names became meshed together, and then translated into English as Jack Frost. In time, he was thought to be an evil entity, bringing darkness and the bitter cold in the world.
My research as led me to believe that it was in the book, The Weather Fairies by Marion St. John Webb (published 1927) which first depicted Jack Frost as a sprite. She (the author) writes about him as being a childlike, mischievous, and evil character.
In 2012, the DreamWorks film, Rise of the Guardians, came out, painting a fresh view of the character, depicting him as a young carefree teenager who was once a normal human boy. In my mind, he was the ice version of Peter Pan. I always love characters like this, including Jet from Avatar: The Last Aribender.
If you are familiar with one or all of these characters, you might see similarities with them and the character from my book, though I take the story in a much different direction as well.
Towards the end of the chapter, Jack says that his soul is joyful - something that Hollyhocks and other characters have longed for the entirety of the book.

Chapter 37 is interesting, in that we learn that Hollyhocks's parents are "privy to her adventures in the human world," so we now know that they know about Edward, who has been absent since chapter 30.
I think the biggest thing in this chapter is that, even though we know that the law was set in the Ancient World saying that no sprite should leave the Forest for the rest of time, Hollyhocks's parents decide to allow her to leave the Forest when she likes, since they know they could not really ever prevent her from going. We are told this in the space of a single paragraph, and it is never really brought back up. This is because Hollyhocks, at the time, was still very upset about Edward, and we are told that because of this, "her parents leniency meant little to her." I think it's safe to say that, though she will take action on this at a later time, it's never openly discussed with her parents again.

Chapter 39 picks up months later, in the spring to be exact, which is exactly one year later from when the story began (excluding the 1st chapter). Jack seemingly succeeds in his endeavor to bring Hollyhocks out of her darkness, as we are told that her world "grew brighter". One thing about Jack, is he looks for the little things that make life worthwhile, appreciating the beauty of the Forest, and living joyfully, believing that life itself is an adventure. 
The beliefs of Jack are what I came to believe myself - or what I am always striving for, at least. I used to feel like I was always waiting for "one day" to arrive - like I wasn't really living in the time that I was in, always waiting for something better to come along. I always loved books with beautiful details. I loved the infinite moments, the moments that the characters felt most alive. I wanted that. I wanted to notice the world in the way the poets talked about. I think Jack was born out of that desire, so to speak. He notices things that others do not. He has reached what the others desire: joy.
Hollyhocks believes that one day she will feel joy, though she never really achieves it in this book, which is honestly a bit sad. Still though, she is with her friends and glad to be home, content to live her own adventure in the midst of the Forest with those she cares about.

Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me

Additional:
Check out the novel, The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1). A new revised version will be available for purchase in December 2020!!