DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

The tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers by Philippe Petit in 1974 and the events of 9/11 inspired Colum McCann to write the novel Let the Great World Spin.  McCann writes in “Walking an Inch off the Ground”: “The tightrope walk was an act of creation that seemed to stand in direct defiance to the act of destruction twenty-seven years later.” 

 

McCann described the tightrope walk as “a spectacular act of art and bravado in which the funambulist had walked back and forth a quarter of a mile in the air.  From below he might have looked like a speck of dust.” 

 

A great work of art has transformative power.  It moves you and makes you see and feel the world in a whole, new way.  In this award-winning novel (itself a work of art), McCann uses the tightrope walk as unifying element/symbol to hold the different stories together.  Give examples of how two characters’ encounters with the tightrope walk changed their lives or gave new meaning to their lives.  What symbolic meaning did the walk have for these characters?  Did any of the characters see the walk as a work of art? Use quotes from the novel to support your writing. 

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.