In "Apprentices" in Whirligig, what is Brent and how is he able to fulfill this? Why is the chapter called "Apprentices"?

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slchanmo1885 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the chapter "Apprentices," Brent has arrived in Florida and begins making his whirligig on the beach, when a group of children find their way onto his section of the beach. The children are fascinated by his work, and hound him with questions, which he patiently answers. The children want to learn how to make whirligigs like Brent, and Brent teaches them. The children return to the beach on different days as Brent is working on the whirligig, and as Brent teaches them how to make it, the children also teach him about the beach. As Brent is leaving, he worries a bit about hurricanes blowing away the whirligig, but then he sees the children working on skills he taught them and realizes that even if the wind blows his away, more whirligigs will appear because the children will keep making them. 

In this chapter, Brent is both a teacher and an apprentice, and the children both apprentice themselves to Brent and teach Brent new things. Brent is able to pass on some of his knowledge and start a new tradition of whirligigs on the beach. The chapter is called "Apprentices" because he meets the children who become his pupils (and in some ways, his teachers). In each place Brent goes, he learns new lessons and touches someone else's life in a small way. In Florida, he connects with these children over the building of the whirligig.