Summary and Analysis Part III: Chapter 50


Laughter proves to be a powerful weapon against the inherent wickedness of the Carnival. At the sound of Mr. Halloway's laughter, the freaks outside freeze from fear and the Mirror Maze crashes to the ground "in domino fashion." Thousands of mirrors, each carrying an image of an ancient Charles Halloway, are shaken to ruins by the sound. This laughter acknowledges Halloway's acceptance of all aspects of life — the actuality of old age as well as youth, the existence of the presence of evil as well as that of good in the world.

Mr. Halloway stumbles through the piles of broken glass in search of Jim. He and Will reach the wax museum only to learn that Jim has somehow escaped. Will fears they will never find Jim now that the Carnival's lights are out. He reasons that the only place left to look for Jim is at the carousel, and he fears that Jim is already taking a ride forward in time.

The light of the moon provides the light by which the father and son make their way to the carousel. Here again is the motif that light is good and that dark is evil. When the Carnival lights were shut off, it seemed hopeless that Jim would ever be found, but with the light of the moon, the Halloways acquire new hope, and they grasp hands in a united effort to find Jim before the Carnival freaks work their wickedness upon him.