The Atlantis Gene
S. A. Beck
Contributed by Greta Venegas
Chapter 10
Summary

Jaxon requests her parents for permission to go to downtown Hollywood. Although she had lied to them about visiting friends, she consoles herself with the fact that she did not lie about her intended destination. Jaxon meets a friendly man on the bus who informs her that everything in Los Angeles was fake, including the grass (previously, she saw a man spraying paint on the grass). She is set on putting any dark thoughts out of her mind and focused on enjoying herself because she knew that was rare in her life. After visiting a few famous destinations in downtown Hollywood, Jaxon ends up getting lost in a different part of the town characterized by poverty, pawn shops, and old buildings.

Jaxon hears someone screaming and notices an old homeless man being beaten up by teenagers. A young man appears and starts beating up teenagers using martial arts techniques. She finds out that the person is Brett, a teenager from her martial arts class, who was also from a rich family. Brett runs after a young girl who had been recording the whole event and finds out that she was uploading the scenes onto a live website. After he smashes her phone, both Brett and Jaxon leave the scene.

Analysis

Jaxon’s solo trip to downtown Hollywood seems to give her the freedom she longed for while living with the Grants, which reveals how isolated and lonely she had been: “Jaxon tried not to think how pathetic it was to lie about having friends” (Beck 86). Jaxon’s surprise at seeing the man spraying the grass showed how sheltered her life had been. The Grants did not allow her to go out on her own, and she often spent her time by herself whenever she was home. Jaxon’s helplessness is seen through her focus to set aside those dark thoughts from her mind, and enjoy her time outside because she knew good times were rare in her life. For Brett, fighting and saving people’s lives give him a purpose to live. Here, the author uses contrast to show the difference between the rich and the poor by explaining the nature of the neighborhoods located in downtown Hollywood.

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