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The Issue of Time Travel

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Michelle Hey. So this is kind of a geeky "thinking" subject about When You Reach Me. Just our opinions on the whole time travel thing. I want to know what everyone thinks!

Nadia I thought it was a pretty cool idea. I also think it's really an interesting point that even if people do discover it, probably not everyone will understand it. Anyways, I thought it was weird how all the things that happened by time travel for the most part were good.

Chin123 I think it is a cool idea, but I just don't really get how it works.

Jonathan Peto I can't remember how time travel is supposed to work in the world of this book, but in our world I think it has to do with the speed of light. Nothing goes faster than light but if something did then that might allow for time travel. Can't remember how they came up with that idea or what about the universe makes it seem possible.

As far as this story goes, I remember thinking that saving one life was a measly little task for something so stupendous as time travel. I know saving one life could have lots of repercussions but I didn't think this book explored that.

Shouldn't time travel be used to change huge events that affect lots of people? That's what I was thinking.

Pandora The speed of light theory as I recall is based on the idea that if someone is traveling the speed of light (I think) somehow time would go slower for them then those on Earth. So, if they traveled say 10 years Earth time it would be (I am guessing here) only a year for them. So if one twin was on the spaceship when they landed they would be 31 and the twin would be 40. Of course that only works in the forward direction.

I can see time traveling in a forward direction but, I never could understand how it would work backwards. Probably just as well because it could lead to a lot of paradoxes. I don't think it would be adviseable for large scale events because that would unravel history and there is no telling how those events could spin out.

An example is in Star Trek when Kirk tried to get the evil Spock to change his universe. The only problem with that was this left evil Empire open to be conqured by an even worse group and then to the enslavement of humnanity.

The Power of Un was a good book on time traveling. At the end the boy is left trying to puzzle the pardox he had just created.

Jonathan Peto Thanks, Pandora. Your example about forward time travel definitely rings a bell.

I think physicists have also theorized ways time travel to the past might work, but I clearly did not understand what I read well enough to explain it.

I think it has to do with multiple universes wrapped inside each other and coexisting. We can't really grasp or experience 'the reality of it' with our limited senses. Time, as we experience it, is also an illusion that we buy into because of our senses limited ability to perceive.

But don't take my word for it. I read something somewhere that did not sound so hokey.

Maybe time travel would not lead to paradox because of the idea that there may be millions of universes all existing simultaneously, with all possibilities already occurring.

Pandora Sounds like the Sliders universe. If you don't know it the idea was the characters found a hole that allow them to move from Earth to another. On each Earth a different path had been followed. Ex. US lost the Revolution and was still part of the British Empire, on another one people voulteered to die to keep the poplution down, and another the Malls took over America etc. It was a good series until they ruined it with the idea of another spieces survial and trying to overtake all the Earths. Of course there had other times they came up with nutty ideas but, those ideas only lasted one epsiode. The spieces thing kept coming back.

Ziyue In my English class we were reading this and our teacher showed us a little clip from a science thing on time travel. Half of the class was like "What? Ok, I don't get it so I'm just gonna go to sleep." the other half actually tried to understand it but just managed to get a headache from it. Then our teacher started talking about it and now my brain hurts from trying to understand time travel.

Jonathan Peto But you'll probably understand it a little better the next time you hear about it... and the next time...

Kalee Stegehuis As far as Stead's novel When You Reach Me goes, I don't think she intends to explore time-travel, rather she uses time-travel as a device to complete a circular story. She doesn't explain it because Stead is more concerned with the growth of her characters rather than the issue of time travel. I believe time travel in this novel is to help symbolize the use of cycles in Stead's novel. I think also, that the use of time travel is an engaging way to exemplify the importance of choices in the process of coming to age.

I'm incredibly intrigued by this novel. If you are too, please check out my blog post about it here (http://dahlsdoll.blogspot.com/2012/05...) I have even posted a question there concerning the issue of symbolism and cycles.

I'd love to discuss this further!

Jonathan Peto Hi Zooey,

I agree. Time travel was not Stead's focus. It was a means to an end.

As for cycles. Mmmmm, I'm going to have to think about that. I read your blog post, but right now, I'm trying to decide if I think a lost key or a relationship constitutes a cycle. I'm not so sure it does, though your idea that those things may be making a comment on human lives in general was intriguing.

message 12: by Marta (new) - added it

Marta  Kowalik I read this book way back, so I don't even remember what happened in the book... plus I didn't read it, our teacher read it to us.

Kalee Stegehuis Jonathan wrote: "Hi Zooey,

I agree. Time travel was not Stead's focus. It was a means to an end.

As for cycles. Mmmmm, I'm going to have to think about that. I read your blog post, but right now, I'm trying to de..."

Thanks for they reply Jonathan. When reading this novel, I was intrigued by an idea that seemed to be forming throughout its pages. I found that when Miranda lost her apartment key, it didn't seem abnormal, yet it seemed to carry a significance or else Stead would not have included it in the story. Parallel to losing her apartment key, Miranda seemed to be losing her best friend. Sal was truly lost to her until they found out how they truly fit together as friends. Even Marcus seemed to fit in with this pattern of loss as he was only a temporary (although completely life-changing) fit in Miranda's life. The pattern of Miranda's cycling through friends seemed key to this novel. I couldn't help but think that Stead chose this connection to display to her readers the growth and changes that are inevitable when choosing one's friends.

I hope this makes sense.

jennifer book sucked, end of story

Michelle Zooey wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "Hi Zooey,

I agree. Time travel was not Stead's focus. It was a means to an end.

As for cycles. Mmmmm, I'm going to have to think about that. I read your blog post, but right now,..."

Wow. That was really... Deep. And I'd have to agree with you. Well said.

Lucy ~Graphite Wizard~ one word. paradoxes.

message 17: by Bree (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bree (I like the way time-travel was mentioned and explained in this book. It was great and surprising, compatible with the meaning of time-travel.)

Time-travel is a curious matter; it's interesting. But if we ever do acquire the power of time-travel, there will be chaos because time-travel do change fates and lives of people. So, if people knew about it, everything will change and when they do, there's a big percent that the differences will go wrong.

If time-travel is ever acquired, people will not be ready for it. Unless, they do smart with it.

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