Why was Romiette having those dreams?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Romiette's dream is a foreshadowing of the climax of the novel.  The dream surrounds her fundamental fear of water and how she is impacted by it.  She feels as if she is drowning and that her worst fear is causing her to suffocate.  The same dream intensifies throughout the narrative.  There is a man's voice and it is unclear if the man is there to help or hurt her.  Essentially, her dream is a collision between her fears and her hopes.   This dream helps to establish both a part of her characterization, but also the thematic understanding that in order for her to live, Romiette is going to have to learn to live with fear and take a risk.  This risk becomes having to trust Julio at the most critical moment in both of their lives. The voice that she hears is his voice frantically trying to find her and bring her to safety from the damage that the Devildogs gang has inflicted upon them.  The intensity of the dream serves to magnify the climax of the novel where Julio saves her from the water and she ends up saving him by keeping him warm with her body as he suffers from hypothermia.  In the opening of the book, the dream introduces a thread that will make the tapestry in the book's climax.

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