Ella Minnow Pea Chapters 4-7 Summary & Analysis

Mark Dunn

Ella Minnow Pea

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Ella Minnow Pea Chapters 4-7 Summary & Analysis


A letter from a business partner to Ella’s father opens the chapter. Ella’s father is to craft jugs for the business man. The businessman does not violate the Council’s newly passed law against the letter “J” by calling the jugs vessels. He mentions Nollop’s unstable economy and insists he will pay in U.S. dollars instead.

Tassie writes to her mother, Mittie, worried about her worsening condition and asking if she can make crab cakes for their guest. Possibly in an attempt to cheer her mother, a family friend sends Mittie some cookies, which she thanks her for. Her friend responds, “I baked my raisin-pecan cookies…because there is little else I can do. What is happening here to you and me, to our families and friends—it frightens me so that I sometimes find myself standing for long periods of time in the middle of my kitchen much like a statue—much like that infernal statue of Mr. Nollop—immobile, unable to do anything except return by cursed rote to the baking of my cookies” (62).

One of the men in town writes to Mittie, apologizing for his apparent lack of manners toward her in the market. His family left him behind in favor of life in the States, but he sees hope: his brother, Clay, believes the falling tiles mean something else—that Nollop wants the letters used more than ever. He further explains Clay is creating a movement. At the end of the letter, he reports the letter “D” has fallen. Mittie writes back, asking if they can meet to discuss the movement.

Ella reports to Tassie about her own family’s gathering regarding the goings on in Nollop. She advises they turned many people away, discussed little, and promised to meet in smaller groups so as to not create suspicion. She writes, “The tide which washes the shores of this beleaguered island can be depended upon to follow the moon’s directives from now until the death of the planet, but lovely storm tides…do strike our beaches now and then, and leave change in their wake. Perhaps we are about to see such…

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