"Horses of the Night" by Margaret Laurence.

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Horses of the Night by Margaret Laurence

-Chris (15)and Vanessa(6)


-"I detested the fact that I was so young"

-Chris creates his own fantasy world (ranch, racing horses etc.) He tries to sell magazines, vacuum cleaners even when he knows he won't make it to university. He can't face reality. Also, when there is conflict he ignores it and it seems like he doesn't even notice it. He holds a fantasy in his mind that seems real to him

-In Shallow Creek, when Vanessa sees the horses is when we are aware that Chris is living in a world of delusions.

-Chris' fantasy world is his only refuge from potential insanity because without it, he would have no hope for life

-Vanessa worries that she is incapable of saying the right thing when they go camping and Chris talks about God and the Stars. "pretending to be asleep" (pg.22)

-Chris doesn't respond when his grandfather talks about him, he sets a barrier between his own world and reality.

-His world consists of his horses, saddle, criss-cross, own ranch. He has control of everything in his world so it only applies to him

-The line slowly, slowly horses of the night means Chris disappears into insanity and that he can't see day and night. Means the night must move slow for Chris and "Whether he had discovered at last a way for himself to make the necessary dream perpetual" (pg.24)

-Chris views God as ridiculous and brutal. He doesn't believe in God. Vanessa doesn't respond, so maybe she does believe in God and doesn't want to tell Chris her views. The circumstances for their views might be the fact that Chris' family lives in poverty while Vanessa is better off a little bit. Vanessa is scared of talking/saying the wrong things

-It reveals that he had a mental breakdown and that he is lost in his fantasy world. He no longer lives in his own world (Chris' letter)

-Vanessa learns that the letter from Chris is the final thing that tells her he is lost and the letter confirmed why he did unrealistic things. She understands why he had a fantasy world.

-excess of imagination harmful

-he has control of his own fantasy world horses Duchess and Firefly. But in reality they are plough horses.

-barrier between person and the real world when a person dreams too much

-he communicates and plays with younger children because he has control and they make no judgements about him.

-sells vacuum cleaners, magazines and knitting machines to university but he doesn't have the marks to get in.

-without his fantasy world he would have no hope for life.

-Chris takes his life to escape the "absolute unbearability of battle"