How Toronto is Perceived in Maggie Helwig’s “Girls Fall Down”


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Essay #: 054047
Total text length is 5,991 characters (approximately 4.1 pages).

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The beginning:
How Toronto is Perceived in Maggie Helwig’s "Girls Fall Down"
Summary of the text (1.5 pages)
The book begins by discussing a terrorist attack using some form of gas on the Toronto subway. The initial pages are devoted to the perambulations of “Alex,” the male protagonist, who has seen the subway incident up-close. Later, when he arrives home, he begins to experience trouble with his own vision – though the incident passes. In any case, as he is mulling over the troubles of the day, an old flame calls and Alex agrees to meet with her. They talk uncomfortably for a while, stroll for a bit in the evening, and Alex confesses to be suffering from diabetic retinopathy; it is worth noting that they also discuss the girls in the subway and why...
The end:
..... seems to view Toronto as a city that is a winter city that is usually under a layer of something or other: “A little later in the winter, a few degrees colder, it (the weather) would have coated the snow with a hard layer of shining ice….but it was not yet that time” (p.97).
In the end, Toronto is a city covered up by layers; it is a city where things are not talked about and where the truth of things – be they relationships or terrorist attacks – are kept locked away in subterranean places.
Coach House Books. (2008). Interview with Maggie Helwig. Retrieved October 7, 2009 from
Helwig, M. (2008). Girls Fall Down. Toronto: Coach House Books.