The question is asked as to why Gail Godwin titles her story "Dream Children" when it seems that only one dream child is mentioned. It is simply because there is more then one dream child, and they are present in more places then just the McNair’s house. Gail Godwin makes the assumption that many people are or were dream children, including Mrs. McNair.
Mrs. McNair was a dream child when she was young, and she has carried the special abilities of dream children with her into adulthood. The dream children travel through the night to places other then their bedroom. They visit places in their sleep. When Mrs. McNair was a child, "she had gone through a phase of walking in her sleep" (Godwin 1044). Her parents began to worry that she might drown or hurt herself when she traveled in her sleep, so they sent her to a psychiatrist. After seeing this psychiatrist, her "night journeys had stopped" (1045). Now, in her adult life, she travels in her sleep again.
It all began when Mrs. McNair met the child she believed to be her own. Unfortunately, her child died at birth, but in a tragic hospital mix-up she is handed a baby belonging to another mother. This brief meeting with the newborn child affected her profoundly. This terrible situation, that never should have happened, caused her to look at life differently. She never forgot the baby that was handed to her. Mrs. McNair thought of him all the time, and she believed he thought of her.
The child she had possession of for a brief moment would sometimes come back and visit her at night. Mrs. McNair would lie in her bed in a "weightless though conscious state’ and "send her thoughts anywhere" (1045). It was in this state that she heard the s...
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...an projects himself to a house when he is miles away. All these examples are of people or animals traveling to different places.
Her psychiatrist told her when she was young that "the race of children possesses magically sagacious powers" (1046). Mrs. McNair still believes this because of the proof she has. This young child, who she was the mother of for a short while, visits her from a far away place. This child possesses magical powers and so did she. She has the ability to travel on another level with the child she always wanted.
Godwin, Gail. "Dream Children." The Harper Anthology of Fiction. HarperCollins. New York. 1991. 1041.
Contemporary Literary Criticisms. Vol. 22. Gale Research Company. 1982. Detroit, Michigan.
Contemporary Literary Criticisms. Vol. 8. Gale Research Company. 1978. Detroit, Michigan.
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