In The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman, the middle-aged narrator returns to his hometown to attend a funeral. The adult narrator drives away from a funeral service and finds himself in front of the house where he grew up. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Lettie informs him that if one wants to live in this world, one must give up on knowing everything. Ursula appears, floating with lightning in the stormy sky, and tells the narrator that she’ll make his father drown him every night—and then she’ll put the narrator in the attic until she’s ready to kill him. Mrs. Hempstock appears and says that the narrator comes because Lettie, still in the ocean, wants to keep up with the narrator’s life and see if her sacrifice was worth it—she couldn’t allow the hunger birds to eat the narrator’s heart. As he passes the drawing room, he witnesses his father and Ursula having sex, though he doesn’t understand what he’s seeing. She thwarts his attempt to sneak away and says that no one will believe anything he says. Old Mrs. Hempstock inspects the narrator’s shilling, insists it’s brand-new, and allows the narrator to help her arrange daffodils. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a 2013 novel by British author Neil Gaiman. Our, “Would not have made it through AP Literature without the printable PDFs. His father gets angry, so the narrator tries to lock himself in the bathroom—but his father knocks the door down, draws a cold bath, and holds the narrator underwater. The opal miner stole his father's car. The narrator’s father puts peanut butter on disappointingly burnt toast for the narrator, and they head down the lane with a police officer. Unfortunately, they try to harm the narrator, too. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. Next. The next morning, the narrator’s mother informs him that she just got a job, so they’re getting a new nanny named Ursula. Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Suddenly, the narrator’s foot feels like it’s on fire. He uses tweezers and hot water to extract a long gray and pink worm. Whatever the reason for his death, shortly thereafter someone or something began leaving money for people in weird ways. They tell him that he’s alone and that no one loves him. They ask for the narrator, and when the Hempstocks won’t give him up, they begin to eat everything in the outside world. After this, the narrator immerses himself in the books he receives and is thrilled when his father brings home a black kitten. A lady named Ursula Monkton begins taking care of the narrator and his sister. Lettie appears, fearlessly tells Ursula to leave, and takes the narrator’s hand. The next morning, the narrator’s parents leave before the narrator wakes up. Only Lettie knows how to get rid of Ursula by summoning hunger birds. Old Mrs. Hempstock is napping—and she might nap for the next century. Outside, the narrator sees Lettie at the bottom of the drive. Lettie pulls him out of the water, and the narrator finds himself in the pond, aware that he doesn’t know everything anymore. That night, when the narrator’s mother is in town for a charity meeting, Ursula flirts with his father. Instant downloads of all 1372 LitChart PDFs The setting reverts to the present. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Lettie saves him once more by jumping between him and the monsters. The house that’s currently standing is the new house; his parents built it when the narrator was a teenager, after they knocked down their rambling old house. The narrator feels as though he’d wait forever for Lettie; she’s his friend, and he trusts her. When the birds are gone, Mrs. Hempstock carries Lettie’s body to the pond. Now, as a grown man, the narrator decides to stop by Lettie's house. When they eat something, only gray static remains. The narrator of Ocean resembles seven-year-old Gaiman in a variety of ways. The work was first published on 18 June 2013 through William Morrow and Company and follows an unnamed man who returns to his hometown for a funeral and remembers events that began forty years earlier. She runs away from Lettie but can’t leave the property; the toys keep her from doing so. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. The narrator bids Old Mrs. Hempstock goodbye, asks her to say hi to Lettie the next time she writes from Australia, and drives away. (including. The Ocean at the End of the Lane Study Guide. He is surprised to hear this. Prologue. A tsunami gathers and crashes down over Lettie’s body. They head for the narrator’s house, where Lettie drops broken toys around the property line. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides. She’s terrifying to the narrator, but his sister and mother think she’s fantastic. The narrator runs down the lane barefoot and cuts through fields until an electric fence shocks him. A girl named Lettie appears and offers to take the narrator so he’ll be out of the way of the police. The narrator names her Ocean. She says that she knows what Ursula is afraid of, and that she’s afraid of them too. He walks to the pond, and Mrs. Hempstock comes out to greet him. Though he can almost remember the feeling of the birds tearing out his heart, Lettie throws herself on top of the narrator and screams. Lettie arrives with a heavy bucket containing some of the “ocean” water and helps the narrator step into the bucket. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our. Not long after, the narrator celebrates his seventh birthday—but no one comes to his party. At this point in the story, the narrator goes back in time to recount events from his childhood. When they find the car, they discover that the opal miner committed suicide inside it. The scavengers attack Ursula. She was easy to remember because she had told everyone that the pond in back of her house was really an ocean. The narrator is sure that Ursula’s arrival is his fault. The visit back to the place where he and his sister had grown up brings back memories of a girl named Lettie Hempstock. As the narrator eats, Mrs. Hempstock and Lettie discuss how to deal with the hunger birds. As the flashback continues, the narrator's mother takes a new job. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. As the narrator sits by this pond, he remembers that Lettie used to call it her “ocean.” Then, suddenly, the narrator remembers everything. The hunger birds gather around the ring. As the pond transforms into a true ocean, Old Mrs. Hempstock assures the narrator that Lettie is just hurt and needs to heal. The visit back to the place where he and his sister had grown up brings back memories of a girl named Lettie Hempstock. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides. The house that’s currently standing is the new house; his parents built it when the narrator was a teenager, after they knocked down their rambling old house. The narrator finds himself deep underwater, where he suddenly knows everything about the world. While there he goes to his childhood home. Lettie leads the narrator to a protective circle called a fairy ring, instructs him to stay inside no matter what, and leaves. There’s a dead fish on the water’s surface, and Lettie cuts the fish open and extracts a sixpence from it. The narrator’s parents agree that the narrator can stay the night and leave. He thinks that she has gone to Australia. That night, the narrator inspects a hole in his foot that seems to have something inside it.