Book Report: Elsewhere Essay
Elizabeth Hall also known as Liz is the main character in the book Elsewhere. Liz is a 15 year old girl that died in a car accident, but at the beginning she doesn’t know where she is she just thinks she’s dreaming then she quickly realizes she’s not. Liz wakes up on a cruise ship, known as the SS Nile in the middle of the ocean. She does not have hair and does not really know how she got there.
She finds another girl, Thandi, who claims she was shot in the head before waking up on the ship. Liz also befriends a man named Curtis, who was a famous musician.
Most of the others on the ship are old people, and everyone is basically in pajamas all the time. That’s all Liz knows until later, when Thandi and Curtis tell her they’re all dead. Liz refuses to accept this for a long time, even though she watches her own funeral through binoculars on Observation Deck (OD).
During Liz’s time on the SS Nile she meets Thandi, a girl who helps her realize what’s really going on. Liz sits down and gasps for air. “How can you be so happy when we’re…? ” Her voice trails off. “Dead? ” Thandi smiles a little. “So you finally figured it out. ” “I just got back from my funeral, but I think I sort of knew before. When liz went to view her funeral she realized it was someone missing, her best friend Zooey who she blames for her death. Liz feels that its Zooey’s fault that she got hit by the cab, because if she hadn’t been going to meet Zooey to help her look for a prom dress she never would’ve been hit. Upon Liz’s arrival to “Elsewhere” Liz finds that there isn’t God. Her grandmother, who she has never met before, comes to meet her at the dock, Liz goes to live with her and she quickly learns that in “Elsewhere”, people age backwards until they become babies again, at which point they’re reborn. This information makes Liz very angry.
Knowing that she will never get to see her best friend Zooey or be with her family again angers her even more to the point of seclusion. For a long time, Liz spent all of her time watching her loved ones back on earth wishing that she was there with them. She tries to contact them, at one point, by diving to the bottom of the ocean to use some sort of underwater well to speak with her brother. The officer in charge of catching people who do that saves her and eventually helps her contact her brother. Through the brother, she is able to tell her father about the birthday gift she’d hidden under the floorboards.
This is enough to give her peace, and she’s able to adjust. By contacting her family Liz is sort of at ease, and also very happy. Liz also experience’s love when she and Officer Owen fall in love, there was a love triangle between Owen, Liz & Owen’s wife who ends up dying even though Owen eventually chooses Liz, because he no longer had as much in common with his wife. She goes to work helping pets who have died learn to adjust. Liz’ grandmother (who was older when she died and thus has longer to spend in Elsewhere), has been caring for baby Liz and gets her ready for rebirth.
The group goes to shore and put the babies in the ocean, and the current carries them to earth, Owen not really caring until the end, after Liz is gone and he has a brief flash of memory of what she meant to him. He starts crying but forget very quickly, taking in the fact that he is only two at this point. The novel ends with Liz being born to another mother and she is feeling very eager to start another life. This is an example of an external conflict that Liz has to go through meaning having to leave the life she started on “Elsewhere” behind. “Even though she feels remarkably awake, she knows she is dreaming. Liz is stuck facing the internal conflict of coping with her new life and realizing things won’t be the same as they were before she left earth. By the end of the novel, Liz has grown to like her new life in “Elsewhere”, but all of that quickly comes to a end when she is sent back to shore to start he life all over again. In the beginning of the novel Liz had a negative outlook on “Elsewhere” and she kind of wanted to seclude herself from everyone and everything. Now in the end of the novel she is spend more time with her new found family there and find that “Elsewhere” isn’t as bad as she thought.