Critics have long acknowledged, however, that the novel incorporates elements of impressionism and irony that belie a strictly naturalist reading that open the work to multiple interpretations.
Maggie on the other hand feels completely subordinate to the world. Her change in attitude and demeanor, caused by Pete, affects many people.
Later, he learns that the captain of the boat was in fact awake, but this does not change the fact that they are all isolated together in the sea.
How does this book steer a path between the two extremes of absolute personal responsibility and entirely contingent morality? They both associate the quilt with their heritage but it is obvious their views on heritage are quite different. In one ear and out the other, all she can think of is Pete and the love that they share.
Reality is hidden in this story from the characters, I think that Jimmy was able to understand that the world in which he lived in was harsh and cruel, and that he was going nowhere. He makes use of an observation technique to show the natural law of the universe: One can either accept the laws determining social order or become their victim.