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Dark Water Rising

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by

Arthi T.

on 3 May 2011

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Transcript of Dark Water Rising

Setting and Time The book takes place in Galveston, starting a few days before the hurricane and ending on January 1, 1901. Main Characters When the hurricane hit Galveston, Seth's family was sheltered, so all of them survived. Seth's dad went to work building a bridge as the rest of his family tries to build a sense of normalcy again. At the end of the book, Seth's dad comes back. Seth and his father open a carpenting business afterwards. Seth Braeden A teenager who doesn't approve of his family's move to Galveston. He's resentful of his mother for making him constantly take care of his sister and he wants to be a carpenter, despite his dad's insistence on him being a doctor. He doesn't have a good relationship with his father because of this. Ella Rose is another teenager. Seth's family takes care of her during and after the hurricane. Apart from her, Ella's cousins, Henry and Spencer, are the sole survivors of the family. This causes her to withdraw into herself for a while before she becomes "normal" again. Seth and Ella Rose like each other.

"...her straw-blond hair swishing from side to side, her shiny blue dress lit with the sun... 'Who's that?'... 'Ella Rose Covington,' he said. 'Sixteen. Her mother died last year and now she lives alone with her father. Goes to Ursuline Academy.'" (Hale 18-22) Josiah "Papa already knew that working under a blue sky, shaping raw lumber... was all I'd ever wanted. But he'd also been clear about what he wanted for his sons. If he thought Galveston could ensure any of us a profession in medicine, we'd be on the next train out..." (Hale, 4) Presentation by Arthi Tarugu Josiah is Seth's friend. He's African American, which only makes it harder for Seth to be friends with him. Josiah is a very good carpenter. He's brave and kind.



"' That's Josiah... he appears to be a dang good carpenter and minds what he's told.' A closer look at Josiah told me he was younger than I first though, nearer to my age than Henry's... He looked to be at least six-foot." (Hale, 42-43) Secondary Characters Papa is a stubborn man. He wants his kids to have a good education and values manners. Papa wants Seth to go to medical school, which is why Seth isn't always very fond of him. "I waited for Papa to answer, but he's always been slow to share his mind... He'd been known to rap a grown man's knuckles with a kinfe handle just for reaching across the table for the salt instead of asking for it... Papa valued education." (Hale, 5-6) Seth's mother, Eliza, is a kind woman. She takes life's harships in stride, since "there's a reason for everything." Seth feels that she pushes Kate, his little sister, upon him too much and resents her for it. Seth's mom doesn't often show her emotions but is a caring person and loves her family very much. Mama "She seemed to be settling in fast here and not at all upset that she had to start over in a new place... 'He just said to tell you that you were right about there being a reason for everything.' I hadn't bothered keeping the sarcasm out of my voice. I thought for sure Mama would be mad... but instead, I saw a slow smile curl the corners of her lips." (Hale, 35-151) Kate Kate is 4 years old-- the youngest of Seth's siblings. She's very dependent on her brother, which really annoys him, but they love each other very much. "Seems I couldn't breathe twice anymore without Mama saying,'Seth, would you button Kate's shoes for me?' or 'Quick, Seth! Wipe that runny nose.' And every blasted time Mama's hands were white with flour, she'd holler,'Seth, you'll have to takeKate to the outhouse for me while I finish the bread.'... I thought of Mama, Papa, and the kids, which quickly brought me back to the woman I'd seen just hours ago, whisked down the flooded alley, clinging to her child... Oh, heaven, please help them... I continued to pray that the woman and child hadn't been Mama and Kate." (Hale, 1-91) Lucas Lucas is Seth's ten year old brother. He has an amiable disposition which allows him to get along fairly well with his siblings. He may have a future career in medicine.

"I'd seen him pluck ants and june bugs from his bathwater because he couldn't stand to see them drown. And this spring, he'd nursed a newborn orphaned mouse he'd found in the brush behind the house... he wouldn't give it up till it was big enough to eat on its own." (Hale, 15) Matt Matt is twelve years old. He's rather mean to Lucus, trying to establish his superiority over him with violence. Matt is hotheaded and is easily angered. However, after the hurricane, he proves that he can be helpful and nice.

"He elbowed Lucas for more room, and when he didn't get it, he delivered a swift boot kick to the leg. I returned the kick before Lucus could even open his mouth to complain." (Hale, 2) Uncle Nate Uncle Nate is the sole reason Seth's family moved to Galveston. He convinced Papa to come, luring him in with the possibility of a fresh start in "the booming city of the new twentieth century" (Hale, 3) and the first medical college in Texas. Uncle Nate owns a successful lumber business.

"... Uncle Nate thought Galveston could improve his youger brother's lot in life, too." (Hale, 3) Aunt Julia Aunt Julia is a very compassionate and caring woman. She hides her grief after her husband and son disappear in the hurricane.

"'We also ask that You watch over Uncle Nate, Ben, Mr. Covington, and help Papa bring them home safe to us.' Aunt Julia looked up at me, eyes soft with gratitude, but like Josiah, I felt something in my bones, something dark and heavy." (Hale, 130) Ben Ben is Aunt Julia's oldest son, Seth's oldest cousin. He's very caring and benevolent and is going to medical school.

"I caught myself wondering if medicine was what Ben really wanted or if he'd been railroaded into it like me. I din't wonder long, though. Ben always did have a light about him, something clean and simple that no amount of bad seemed to touch. If anyone should be a doctor, it was him" (Hale, 15) Andy and Will Andy and Will are eleven and nine respectively. They play with Matt and Lucas. After the storm, they help with rebuilding efforts.

" We'd all inherited the Braeden dark hair, but Andy and Will had gotten a double dose of Aunt Julia's freckles, making my two younger cousins look a bit like speckled hens." (Hale, 14) Conflict The main conflict of the story is the hurricane. Seth and his family, like others in the city, had it going good. And then the hurricane swept in, taking with it almost 8,000 people.

There's also a secondary conflict-- which takes the backburner when the hurricane hits: Seth's profession. Would he become a doctor, as his father wished, or be a carpenter? The climax, most obviously, is when the hurricane hits Galveston. Although the book leads up to the storm, this is where it actually begins:

"I turned south toward the construction site and soon found tidewater over the tops of my shoes... A light rain swept in, and still people walked to work... Streets and yards around us filled with rain and tidewater... As the morning wore on, the storm increased... Skies darkened... I heard cries as waves picked up the two-wheeled portable bathhouses and flung them into the row of flimsy buildings that made up the Midway... wild waves rose up like a great hand and wrenched loose the Pagoda's long staircase, sending planks tumbling through the air. With horror I watched the end of one twin building sway and dip into the surf... Like a wounded Goliath, the great bathhouse shuddered, folded onto its long legs, and collapsed into the sea." (Hale, 69-73)

When real damage is done to the city, people realize something is terribly wrong. The storm is big. Huge. Much larger than they ever dreamed of.
At the end of the book, Papa tells Seth that he can be a carpenter-- in fact, they're opening their very own company, Braeden and Son. Although the scars that the hurricane left have not healed completely, they are fading slowly. The New Year's helps Seth let go of the awful things he saw during the hurricane and it appears that everything will be all right in the end. Climax Resolution Recommendation/ Least Favorite Part of the Book Recommendation: Simply put, the book was horrible. The slow, sloth-like pace was enough to lose my interest. The hurricane only lasted a few chapters-- before the hurricane was all about the Braedens' settling into Galveston, and afterwards was basically how they rebuild. It literally exhausted me when I was trying to read the chapters afterwards. I don't really want to waste good time to read about how Seth worries about Ella Rose incessantly or equally inconsequential details. There were no sections, to me, that popped out (other than the coming of the hurricane) as "good" or even "okay" sections. My least favorite part, however, was the beginning. As a writer, Ms. Hale should know that an opening phrase of "The train clicked on its rails..." (Hale, 1) doesn't do anything for me except tell me that I have to put this book down QUICK. Least Favorite Part
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