“In the twilight the headlights cut fifty meters into the snowfall, and in the two intersecting yellow cones, and the dark gray world outside them, they saw only the ragged surface of the flood, a pouring sea of flotsam and jetsam without the slightest hint of any regular shape; in fact it looked like a world in which such shapes were impossible. No one could survive in such madness” (p.563).
I found it very interesting that as the progression to Frank’s death ensued the use of the word madness was used to describe the scene. Frank’s personality was truly shown during the time leading up to this event. As his death approached, his true frustration, anger, and madness are all shown through his character. “It’s a matter of will, Frank Chalmers said to his face in the mirror. The phrase was the only residue of the dream he had been having when awake. He shaved with quick decisive strokes, feeling tense, crammed with energy ready to be unleashed, wanting to get to work. More residue; Whoever wants it the most wins (p.388)”. During this point of the book, Frank had been experiencing dreams in which he could not tell from reality at times. The literal time as well as his dreams began to overlap due to his increasing madness. As Frank continued to realize that he would never be able to lead as John would have been able to (therefore being a reason for lack of strong leadership in the colony) I feel that his growth in mental instability increased. It seemed as if he was guilty for his part in killing John. “He woke up his stomach knotted, his skin sweaty. He got up and took a shower–although he could remember no more than a single fragment of the dream: John, saying ‘wait and see’” (p. 432).
Frank’s death was very interesting considering how the darkness and consuming madness reminds the reader of Frank’s character. As Maya had mentioned earlier in the text, when looking into Frank’s eyes “it was like looking in to the windows of an empty house” (p.49). And his ending legacy continues the traits of his personality. I find it intriguing that during his death all the was left was the emptiness, “they saw only the ragged surface of the flood, a pouring sea of flotsam and jetsam without the slightest hint of any regular shape; in fact it looked like a world in which such shapes were impossible.” It was almost as if he was never real at all. But as I have reviewed this pattern, I cannot help but wonder why this pattern was included within this novel. It is my opinion that the author wanted to show the consuming affect of guilt. Frank thought he wanted the power of John which ended with John’s death. Dreams haunted his past actions and ridiculed his leadership skills. Frank’s character almost seemed to be dissolved into the flood with no trace of his remains. The amount of guilt that he had figuratively took over Frank and consumed him completely.