Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” (part 2, chapter 1 – “Four Gates to the City”)

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” (part 2, chapter 1 – “Four Gates to the City”)

Onwards to part 2!  This section of the book is titled “Four Gates to the City” (as is the first chapter of the section).

Before we move forward, though, let’s take stock of where we are. We’ve just left the New York City of 1915-16, with the disappearance of Peter Lake into the “infinite fury” of the Cloud Wall.  Beverly Penn and her father are both dead, although Beverly, at least, had seen through to a new and different world before her passing, and Peter was given a glimpse of it as well.

Now we jump ahead eighty years, to the early 1990’s.  We’re still in New York, though, and this extremely brief chapter tells us how one may enter the great city.  In the past, we’re informed, cities had literal gates, built into protective walls.  As time went on, however, those gates disappeared, replaced by barriers more subtle and yet much harder to enter.

Some claim that the barriers do not exist, and disparage them.  Although they themselves can penetrate the new walls with no effort, their spirits (which, also, they claim do not exist) cannot, and are left like orphans around the periphery.

As with so much of this book, I think this is meant to be taken at least somewhat literally, and not just as flowery language or a metaphor.

What are these new, more subtle gates?  There are four of them:

Acceptance of responsibility (the east gate)

The desire to explore (the south gate)

Devotion to beauty (the west gate)

Selfless love (the north gate)

It was said that a city with entryways like this could not exist, because it would be too wonderful.

But of course it does exist, and we’re about to meet four characters in the next four chapters, each of whom will be passing through a different gate.  My interpretation (if you think differently, please chime in and share your opinion!) is that our new people come in as follows:

Virginia Gamely comes through the South gate.

Hardesty Marratta comes through the East gate.

Christiana comes through the North gate.

And Asbury Gunwillow comes through the West gate.

We’ll see how that pans out starting with the next chapter, when we revisit the Lake of the Coheeries and meet Virginia…

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

One Reply to “Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” (part 2, chapter 1 – “Four Gates to the City”)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.