How is "The Discovery of Egypt" both a play on words and an appropriate title for the first chapter in The Egypt Game?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first chapter of The Egypt Game, the "very beginning of the Egypt Game" is described, making the chapter's title, "The Discovery of Egypt," quite appropriate. April, Melanie, and Marshall, looking for something to do, squeeze through a hole in the fence of the Professor's yard and find, among other things, "a cracked and chipped plaster reproduction of the famous bust of Nefertiti." This discovery of the statue of the famed Egyptian personage instigates the start of a wonderfully imaginative recreation of Egypt, in which the children would reenact scenes from that ancient country's past.

The title of the chapter, "The Discovery of Egypt," is also a play on words because of the multiple discoveries that are involved in relation to the literal discovery of the Egyptian statue. Inspired by their find, the children embark on a season of learning, consulting books about ancient Egyptian civilization. Through the knowledge they discover, they are able to fashion a model of an ancient Egyptian shrine, in which they act out rituals taken directly from their newfound understanding of the ancient culture.

Another discovery described in the chapter involves the Professor. By peeking through his window, he too discovers the Egypt created by the children. He is a witness when they children first enter his yard, and he sees their surprise and excitement when they encounter the statue. By discovering the Egypt the children are about to recreate, the Professor also finds that his world is enlarged; having been reclusive and alone, he too is drawn into the wider society of others, through Egypt, the imaginary world of the children (Chapter 1).