Gold Coast and Death
So, I’m fairly certain now that Jim doesn’t die in the end. But Lillian dies. Lillian, a side character we don’t truly get to meet. She can be painted, I believe, as a symbol for another kind of death in the story. The death of innocence, experienced by each of the characters in some way. It’s where Abe finally breaks, unsure if he can keep up with his job so full of heartbreak (Robinson 302). For Dennis, it reminds him of the corruption in his line of work, albeit her death is “worse than anything possible in all that world of corruption and graft” (Robinson 306).
Lillian, as far as we can tell, was a nice girl that everyone knew. When she dies, it’s nearly impossible to get a hold of her parents; in fact, when he tells Lucy, she finds it’s near impossible to contact anyone important (303). It holds to point that no one seems immediately aware of the futility of their struggle in the OC. Her death marks a turning point, where everything begins to fall apart. Tashi realizes that it’s too much work to be off the grid in OC (311); Dennis learns his efforts toward getting his project accepted aren’t worthwhile (334); Jim makes a fool of himself before Hana and blunders his sabotage efforts (310, 351); Sandy realizes that he’s being played by his contacts (330). They all get wake-up calls in their sleepwalking.
Everyone loses something they’ve come to depend on. And, as discussed in class, they’re able to do well enough without it.
Robinson, Kim S. The Gold Coast. Tom Doherty, 1988.
werner22brigitte, untitled. https://pixabay.com/en/car-wrack-wrack-old-rusty-car-258668/. Accessed November 2016.