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Winnie's talk with Miles is an extension of her earlier talk with Angus, only from a different perspective. Angus' nature is to be reflective, and it is his inclination to approach his situation in a philosophical manner; Miles, in contrast, is more of a man of action, and he confronts the same situation with the attitude of trying to figure out how he can make the best of it.
Angus takes Winnie out on the pond because "the pond's got answers" (Chapter 11). He explains to Winnie his philosophy on life, and his reasons for wanting to keep the water that grants eternal life a secret. He says that life is "moving, growing, changing", and compares it to a wheel, "turning and turning, never stopping". Dying, to him, is a necessary "part of the wheel, right there next to being born". Because he will never die, Angus feels that life is passing him by, and always will. He cannot grow and change, so he cannot live; he and his family "just are", watching life go by "like rocks beside the road". Angus desperately wants to convince Winnie to keep the secret of the magic water. He is afraid that if people find out about it, they would do anything to get it, then regret it when they figure out the predicament in which it will leave them, when it is too late. He cannot do anything to improve his own position now, but he is determined to do what he can to prevent others from finding themselves in the same situation (Chapter 12).
Miles, a practical man, takes Winnie out on the pond a few chapters later also, but true to his nature, he has a practical motive for going, to catch fish for breakfast. While they are fishing, Miles tells her concretely about the consequences of his family's situation, explaining how he once had a wife and family, but they grew old without him, and, not wanting them to be "mixed up and peculiar", he parted ways with them. Miles' revelation supports Angus' desire that Winnie keep the secret of the magic spring, yet, having been placed in a difficult situation, Miles himself is determined to make the best of things. Miles disagrees with his father in that he says, "It's no good hiding yourself away, like Pa and lots of other people". Miles wants to "do something useful if (he's) going to take up space in the world" (Chapter 17).
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