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The Complexities of Friendship

Aubergine and Clara share an especially close bond. From the beginning, when Aubergine sees bruises on Clara, she is compelled to help her, and an immediate friendship is sparked. They set off on an adventurous life together, always watching out for each other and sharing equally in the spoils of their “prospecting.” They notice each other’s intimate needs, carefully reaching to straighten a bun or smooth a hemline in a casual gesture. Yet Aubergine comes to realize that the friendship isn’t as equal as she’s always believed. In fact, she comes to an epiphany that she has used her friend in perhaps worse ways than all the men have:

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I’d used her bruises to justify leaving Florida. I’d used her face to open doors. Greed had convinced me I could take care of her up here, and then I’d disappeared on her. How long had Clara known what I was doing? I’d barely known myself.

Aubergine’s revelation shows the unbalanced nature of friendships, with one friend or the other sometimes holding more power. In this friendship, Aubergine has made the decisions, using her friend’s talents to propel her own goals. Without even realizing it, she has put her own needs above Clara’s, and Clara has accepted the nature of their relationship.

The Difficulty of Seeing the Truth

On this night, the girls realize that the men they meet at the lodge are dead, and most of them do not even realize it. The girls fear being swallowed by death if the reality of their situation comes to light before the dawn; therefore, they dance and laugh to pretend that all is well, and the dead men remain clueless about their situation. As Aubergine spends more time with Lee, she begins to lose the truth about herself. She cannot recall giving him her name, yet he calls her “Jean,” a nickname given to her by her parents and that she actually prefers over “Aubby,” the nickname that Clara calls her. It is interesting that she shares this information with a dead stranger, yet her best friend is seemingly unaware of this basic truth. Aubergine begins to believe that living at the lodge, and therefore choosing death, wouldn't be so bad—that she and Clara could live as “sisters” that way. Early in the story, Aubergine gives Clara her sweater to cover up Clara’s bruises, and they eventually run away to escape the abusive situation that Clara is caught in, yet Aubergine never learns who was abusing Clara. At various points in the story, the truth becomes blurred and hidden, with characters evading the truth of their situations.

The Randomness of Fortune and Misfortune

Aubergine and Clara themselves showcase the randomness of fortune through the differences...

(The entire section contains 718 words.)

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