Was Mrs. Olinski complimenting Julian or complaining about him when she said this line in View from Saturday"?Mrs. Olinski said, "Julian makes each mile a journey of quarter inches".  Was she...

Was Mrs. Olinski complimenting Julian or complaining about him when she said this line in View from Saturday"?

Mrs. Olinski said, "Julian makes each mile a journey of quarter inches".  Was she complimenting him or complaining?

Can you explain your response?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mrs. Olinski is complimenting Julian when she says, "Julian makes each mile a journey of quarter inches".  Mrs. Olinski is referring to Julian's ability to appreciate and make the most of every moment, no matter what he is doing.

Mrs. Olinski is riding in the van with Julian and Mr. Singh when she makes this comment.  Mrs. Olinski is driving, with Mr. Singh in the passenger seat and Julian sitting quietly alone in the back, observing "the trees and houses and road signs...he (says) almost nothing, but Mrs. Olinski (is) never not aware of him".  After a time of silence, Mrs. Olinski makes her comment about Julian to Mr. Singh.

Mrs. Olinski had earlier mentioned to Mr. Singh that, after her accident, it had been more difficult for her "to get back into the passenger's side of an automobile than it took for (her) to learn to drive again".  Mr. Singh had completely understood her feelings, telling her that "it often takes more courage to be a passenger than a driver".  Mr. Singh relates this earlier exchange to Mrs. Olinski's comment about Julian.  He says that, when the family lived on a cruise ship, his son "learned to be a passenger...learned to read the ocean by the cupful...(and) to regard each port of call as part of the journey and not as destination".  Julian knows how to live in the moment, and how to be at peace even though he is not in control.  He knows how to submit to forces he cannot direct, and has enough inner confidence and serenity to be able to make the most of what he is given and just appreciate whatever comes (Chapter 10).

Read the study guide:
The View from Saturday

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