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STUDY GUIDE - THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS
There are several other literary devices that pop up at various times in the story. One of the most prevalent ones is foreshadowing which frequently presents clues of something that will happen later in the novel. Some examples of foreshadowing include:
1.) Carmen wrote Tibby a letter about how badly she felt that she was taking a trip that was so exciting and new, while Tibby was home in her same haunts. It foreshadows that her expectations won’t meet the reality she will face.
2.) Carmen began to receive clues that perhaps things weren’t as she expected with her. First, he had traded in his Saab for a station wagon, an odd vehicle for a single man, and then, he was reluctant to talk about his place. Finally, he pulled up in front of a large Victorian house in a suburban neighborhood and told her that it was home. He told her that he hadn’t mentioned he’d moved, because he wanted to explain all the big stuff in his life in persons
3.) Bridget is discouraged from falling in love with beautiful Eric, but is determined to have him. There is a sense of foreshadowing here that both are going to be disappointed at the outcome of their “romantic” summer.
4.) She spoke to Eric about her dad being from Amsterdam, but stopped short of saying much about her mother, something that had been true from the beginning of the story. She doesn’t want to admit that her mother committed suicide.
5.) Bridget exclaimed that she was in love and that Eric was 100% off limits. She admitted, though, that wouldn’t stop her.
6.) Bee told Eric that she didn’t care about the rules he was following, but he insisted that he didn’t have a choice about them. This foreshadows their coming intimacy.
7.) The psychiatrist had said that Bridget was single-minded in achieving her goals to the point of recklessness. This foreshadows how she will pursue Eric until he capitulates.
8.) Bridget called Tibby from Baja, but got the maid, Loretta, who couldn’t speak English very well. The conversation didn’t go very well and Bridget obviously had no one to help her work out her problem. This foreshadows that she will make choices without common sense advice.
9.) Bee wondered if she were a feral creature. This foreshadows how she “stalks” Eric.
10.) Lena had to turn over to hide her tears after her grandmother told her why Kostos had come to live with his grandparents. She realized how sad it was that people like Kostos and Bee, who had lost everything, were still open to love while she, who had lost nothing, was not. This foreshadows how Bee will continue to lose, but she will finally open herself to love.
11.) Carmen had told Bee that “Good sense rules!” It was advice that Carmen also needed to hear about herself. This foreshadows how Carmen will forget her own advice in how she handles her feelings about her father and his new family.
12.) Tibby thought the guinea pig’s life was progressing so much faster that her own. This foreshadows the animal’s death.
Another element that is important to note is irony - when something happens, or is seen, or is heard that we may know, but the characters do not, or that appears opposite of what is expected. Some examples of irony include:
1.) Her hope for good luck on this trip prompted Lena to take out the Traveling Pants and put them on. Ironically, most of the trip will be filled with bad luck.
2.) Bailey, a young girl of about ten was lying unconscious on the floor of Wallman’s, ironically having crushed Tibby’s deodorant display in the process, a display that had taken her hours to put together.
3.) Lena noticed that she had Bapi’s nose, an irony because she had never known where her looks had come from.
4.) Even though she didn’t want to talk with Bailey, Tibby told Bailey’s mother that her daughter liked to test people (something Tibby’s own mother had said about her many times). Ironically, they were very much alike.
5.) Lena was still waiting to have something happen that would be big enough for the Pants. She wished Carmen a great time with her dad. Both of these ideas are ironic, because Lena will have a big moment when Kostos sees her swimming naked in the pond and Carmen will have nothing but bad luck with her dad.
6.) Eric whispered quietly into Bee’s ear, “We can’t do this.” Ironically, he won’t follow his own advice.
7.) After hearing how Paul and Krista’s father had left them, Carmen could only murmur that you can’t just abandon your family. Ironically that is exactly what she will do later.
8.) She told her she was unsure what the Pants had meant to her yet, but that Carmen would do better, because she was “the one and only Carma Carmeena.” This is ironic because Carmen won’t do better with the Pants at all.
9.) Carmen hoped the Pants would bring Bee good sense, because a little common sense is a good thing. Carmen thought Bee had every other charm in the universe and she only needed common sense. Ironically, that is the last thing Bee will use.
10.)Carmen cried and cried, while Bailey comforted her by telling her she was allowed to be mad. Ironcially, Bailey herself doesn’t allow herself to be angry about her illness.Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version