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STUDY GUIDE - THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS
In Your Eyes I Am Complete. - Peter Gabriel
For two nights, Tibby had been staying with Bailey until they kicked her out at the end of visiting hours. The second night, she told her mother she was going to the movies afterward, because she just wasn’t ready to go home. When she saw the lights of the 7-Eleven, she went in and saw Brian McBrian hunched over Dragon Master. She stood and watched him until he got sizzled in the 26th level. Them she asked him if he would teach her how to play. He coached her all the way to the 7th level until her character perished. He told her he had been visiting Bailey at lunchtime and he gave Tibby a backpack holding a Sega Dreamcast machine to help Bailey stay in practice. It made Tibby’s eyes well with tear. After she left, it occurred to her that Brian was on to something: happiness didn’t have to be about the big, sweeping circumstances, but about having in your life in place. It was about stringing together a bunch of small treasures. Maybe, she thought, you just got through it. Maybe that was all you could ask for.
At her last breakfast with Bapi, Lena was determined to use the phrases she had put together in Greek, but when she sat down while Bapi contentedly munched on his Rice Krispies, looking up every so often to smile at her, Lena realized they had bonded just by the routine of eating cereal together. So she forgot her Greek phrases. Then, when she was almost finished with her cereal, Bapi reached over and covered her hand with his saying, “You’re my girl.” And Lena knew she was.
The scene changes to Tibby. She was sitting on her usual spot beside Bailey two days later and knew that Bailey was getting worse. However, Bailey was playing Dragon Master while her dad snoozed beside them in the chair. Bailey told Tibby after Tibby took over the game controls that Brian was a great guy. Tibby agreed, saying that Bailey was right just like always and that she judged people without knowing them. Bailey assured it was okay, because Tibby always changed her mind. Tibby watched her as she slowly drifted off to sleep, just as she had been doing more and more.
Bee wrote to Lena that something
had happened to her and it wasn’t how she had imagined it. She needed to talk
to Lena and tell her how strange she felt she was to her own self. She couldn’t
sleep and she was scared.
Lena read Bridget’s letters on the flight from Athens. She was worried, because she had known Bee well enough and long enough to know there were fault lines in her that were breaking down. She was like a child who needed someone to promise her that the world wasn’t empty. So, she told her sister that she was going to leave her in New York to fly to D. C. alone while she took a flight to California. Bridget needed her. She promised that she would bring Bee home the next day. She was glad that she had thought to pack the Traveling Pants in her carry-on bag.
The next morning, Tibby got the call that Bailey was gone. She attended the funeral with Angela, Brian, Duncan and Margaret. They all cried quietly. During the night, she watched Steel Magnolias and when her baby sister woke up, she went to her, gave her a bottle, and tucked her into bed with her. She nuzzled around her little sister and cried and when the baby was into deep sleep, she put her back into her own crib. Then, she went to the freezer and pulled out Mimi. She rode her bike to the cemetery where she went once more to Bailey’s grave. The soil over it was still soft, so she dug a small hole and placed Mimi into it. At first, she felt like she just wanted to stay there and be with both of them, but then she changed her mind. She was alive and she owed it to Bailey to try to make her life as big as she could. With a promise to her lost friend that she would keep playing Dragon Master, Tibby got up and left her loved ones behind.
The scene changes to Lena. She had just arrived in Mulagé, and she found her way to Bridget so she could take her home. Bee was still lying in her sleeping bag, and Lena got her up to take a walk. Lena told Bee she had come all that way so Bee would know that she wasn’t alone. She also brought her the Pants, and when Lena told Bee to sit down and tell her everything that happened, so they could fix it, Bee said she felt like she already did.
Three of the girls fulfill the quote at the beginning of the chapter. They each become complete with the help of those they love. Tibby finds herself through the help of people like Bailey, Brian, Duncan, Margaret, Angela, and even Mimi. Lena becomes complete with the help of Kostos and Bapi as well as the fact that she is needed by Bee. Bee becomes complete when she realizes that Lena came all the way to the soccer camp to make sure Bee knew she wasn’t alone. They all learn that life is nothing without those we love to prop us up when we can no longer stand.
We Will Go Nowhere We Know We Don’t Have to Talk at All. - Beck
All four of the girls have finally come home and they set up their annual late-night session at Gilda’s to fall in the middle day between all their birthdays. Carmen is now once more the narrator. They are returning there as the honorary birthplace of the Septembers and now of the Sisterhood.
Usually at this time of the year, they were worn into each other, having been together all summer. But this night, they are different. Carmen feels that they are separate and full of edges with their own stories. It’s as if what happened when they were separated is almost dream-like now that they are back together. She says that the Pants are the only witness of all of their lives as well as the document since in the previous few days they had all written about their experiences on the Pants. They are all sitting in the same circle with the Pants in the center, candles lit and their eyes shining. They all wear gifts that have come from various places both at home and abroad. They are settling into each other once again, sharing their lives. She concludes by saying that they had told their stories, but the shades and the nuances were not revealed, as they couldn’t be since they hadn’t all shared them. But she feels as if the Pants promise them time and nothing would be lost as they traveled together through the next year. Then, they will meet again, take out the Traveling Pants and together or apart, begin again.Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version