All those hours during which her life (along with her mother) had gone from being on thing to being another, it had held its shape, like a car window Francie once saw hit by a rock. The rock hit, a web of tiny, glittering lines fanned out, and only a minute or so later had the window tinkled to the street in splinters. The dazzling, razor-edged splinters had tinkled around Francie yesterday afternoon in Mrs. Peck’s voice (263)
I love this image which, for me, captures the idea of Francies’ world crumbling like the glass fragmented by the rock. It is a clear, concrete image as most everyone is familiar with the glass from a car window that, when broken, has the veined lines that extend from the place where the glass was hit. The glass then falls to the ground after splintering into the webbed lines. This metaphor applies to Francie as she seems to have this cracked relationship with her mother and then when she learns of her mothers death from Mrs. Peck the relationship shatters completely. Francie comments on her mother wanting her to go this boarding school and calling her daughter ungrateful which leads the reader to believe that their relationship is rocky. It also outlines how she has no one else to go to at that time. She continually repeats how it is just her and her mom and so the shattering also reflects how she feels alone as she is unsure what to do about arrangements for her mother only to realize “her mother would have told her” (266). The metaphor serves twofold, to express Francie’s shock at her mothers death and also her shock at realizing she is alone because at this point she believes her father to be dead from an accident. I just wish it had been in her own voice instead of third person. I feel like we would have gotten more emotion and had a better idea of how she truly felt if it was coming directly from her.