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Children of the Dust – Veronica pages 14-40

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Children of the Dust – Veronica pages 14-40

Veronica is Sarah’s stepmother and mother of William and Catherine.  When we first meet her she is busy barricading a room to protect her family from the explosions and fall-out of a nuclear war.  She is obviously tense and anxious and this is why she ‘snapped’ at the children and spoke ‘grimly’.  The reader can sympathise with Veronica here because of the tension she is under.

Soon, the tension really starts to show as the bombs are hitting various parts of England.  ‘Get that dog out of here’ she shouts at William, as he is trying to keep Buster - the family dog - in the house.  She may seem a little blunt, but this is understandable as she is under a massive strain.

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Later that day, William is throwing a tantrum because he can’t let Buster in, and Veronica throws a tantrum with him and Buster.  She seems not to have calmed down from earlier, as again she does not try to explain to William why she can’t let Buster in.

Later that evening, Veronica seems to have (finally) calmed down, and explains to Sarah that she would commit suicide now, but she ‘has William and Sarah to think of.  She is determined to be responsible and brave, and it is easy to sympathise with her at this point.

The next morning, she wakes up with tearstains on her face, after denying the morning many times. Veronica was obviously thinking of Sarah’s father; she is upset, but is trying to put on a brave face.

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The next mourning (I know I’ve spelled it wrongly, but it seems more appropriate), William has throw a tantrum because he wants a Mars bar (‘”You buy me a Mars bar, Mummy”, he shouted’).  Veronica seems to now have given up all hope, and has just ‘switched off’.  She has realised that when (even if) they get outside, there will be nothing there for them – everything has died.

Later that day, Sarah discovers that dust has been coming down the chimney (‘Dust…look at it’, ‘Where is it coming from’), and Veronica seems to have ‘switched back on’ again.  She cleans like she has never cleaned before, and seems to have discovered a new purpose.  She has seen that there may be hope after all if they get out.

Ed Bennett 9CJ/N        Page

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