Susie’s father Jack has a fascination with assembling ships inside bottles.‘Hold still’ my father would say, while I held the ship in the bottle and he burned away the strings he'd raised the mast with and set the clipper ship free on its blue putty sea. And I would wait for him, recognizing the tension of that moment when the world in the bottle depended, solely, on me.' (Chapter 17)
In a moment of utter despair at the loss of his daughter, Jack lined up all the bottles and began smashing them up. At this point in the novel, we are told how Susie tried to communicate with her father from heaven:‘The bottles, all of them, lay broken on the floor, the sails and boat bodies strewn among them. He stood in the wreckage. It was then that, without knowing how, I revealed myself. In every piece of glass, in every shard and sliver, I cast my face.’ (Chapter 3)
- In terms of character development and the themes of the narrative, what do you think is the symbolic significance of the ships in the bottles?
- To what extent do the symbols of the snow globe and the bottled ships suggest similar ideas and represent similar tensions for the characters?
- What does the trailer suggest about the treatment and significance of the ships in the bottles within the film?