In-Depth Analysis: The Sculptor – Part 5

Fifteen days remain when Meg comes home early. David is surrounded by bottles, dirty dishes, and five naked statues of Meg, comforting him as he sleeps. In a hurry, he reforms the stone and dresses. Meg sits him down in the apartment and explains to him that when she was with Marcos, doctors told her she could never have a child. She never thought to use birth control, but no she is pregnant. She talks of future plans they would need to make to care for a child, and in a way, she recounts much of the plan Harry laid out for David before offering him the deal.

Perhaps because of her honesty, the prospect of him having a child after he is gone, or his mind is clearer, he tells Meg about his secret.

With twelve days remaining, they spend half the day creating, and the other half living. Meg convinces David to break some of his foolish promises. For all of the power granted to mold anything to his will, metal, stone, his face, David needed Meg to mold and change the unmovable stone inside him.

Laying in the park grass, David is able to sense a large boulder underground. He shapes it to be a sculpture of Meg. He has let go of needing all of his art to be seen. He has added a special piece that only he and Meg knows about, much like Mira’s work.

On a trip to see a dying woman, Meg’s favorite theater professor from college, David took a walk from the park to a cemetery. Before falling asleep, he was ready to die, yet when he woke up, the realization came to him. He had never been afraid to die, with nothing to lose, and seemingly no one to care for him when he was gone. Now he had Meg and their baby, and he no longer wanted to die.

Five days remaining, there was a protest in front of a church. A friend handed her baby over to Meg to hold and distract while the mother handled a disruptive old man. Meg tossed the baby into the air saying, “Nothing to see up there. It’s all down here.”

The next day, Ollie shows up, and they reminiscence about the old days growing up. David is reminded that Ollie is his family as well.

Ollie informs David and Meg that the sculpture David remixed was bought and was going for half a million dollars. Even for his most popular piece, it disturbs David for not being about the art, but about the celebrity behind it. Ollie passes on the message that Ms. Hammer wants to see David.

At Ms. Hammer’s place, David finds out that she was interested in his original work, but was unable to contact him. Her Ukrainian assistant was mistaken for the Russian guy David thought was after him. All totaled, David would make three to six million dollars. Signed over to Meg, she will be set for life. Discouraged over his ideals that art could change the world, he is reminded by Ms. Hammer that “art can change the world! Just very, very slowly.”

With three days left, David is ready to show Meg his final work. A large, corded sculpture with figures and a whole world inside. You can move around, but only see a tiny piece at a time. Just as people move from place to place, they still only see a small part of life. They can never get the full picture of life. They can only experience a little bit of it.

Meg gets a craving for ice cream, but before she can leave, Harry shows up for a visit. He says he knows her from the time he went to see old movies and she worked there. She leaves while Harry and David play chess. Throughout the story, David had been trying to beat Harry at chess, but in the end, he beat Death by continuing through the baby that Meg carried. David had been looking for immortality through his name being remembered, but his baby would be his lasting work.

That is until Harry admits he never went to that theater, and he had an appointment with Meg in ten minutes at fifty-third and ninth. David’s world comes crashing down as he realizes what is about to happen, and the police bang on his door. He escapes by manipulating the metal and stone around the building.

He reaches Meg, but it is too late. A driver accidentally hit her on her bike. David begs Harry to bring her back, but he refuses. With the police arriving on the scene, David takes Meg’s body underground. There is a shot of doves flying off into the distance reminiscent of David’s first meeting with Meg as an angel who vanished into a flock of birds. Now she and the baby are gone. With David’s line ending, Harry begins to fade.

David’s time is almost up. As the rain pours, David climbs up the building construction of a shady company that drove out tenets. He warns everyone to get away for their own safety.

Detective David Smith urges him to surrender, informing the “other” David how they matched the fingerprints from the bridge on day one with the fingerprints on Finn’s wineglasses Ollie brought over. In the end, Finn was looking out for himself with a reward in mind.

Given a five minute warning to clear the area, the police leave David to finish his work. He works until the morning. The rain gone, replaced by fog, everyone wants to see what is being created.

A shot rings out and David falls. The beginning of the story shows David upside down, followed by him whispering something in a woman’s, Meg’s, ear. The beginning gives little context to these events, but here it is obvious that the story we thought was linear is actually a piece of David’s life being played out again to him. He is seeing it for the second time, but we as readers are seeing it for the first.

In the moments before he hits the ground, each moment of his life appears, slow at first, increasing to a collage of moments, and fades out.

The moment in bed with Meg is shown where he tells of a dream of finding all of the things left behind by his family. All of their works, their dreams, all forgotten. Meg tells him that he has to take control of his fear. She tells him to tell her a secret that she will take with her to her grave. She will be the lock-box for him after he dies.

When the fog passes, everyone can see what was left. A massive statue of a pure and naked Meg tossing a baby into the air, reminding everyone there is nothing to see up there. Their lives are all down here to live to their fullest.

Continue to Part 6 – Conclusion