44 pages 1 hour read

Margaret Peterson Haddix

Among the Impostors

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2001

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Symbols & Motifs

Mr. Talbot’s Note

Mr. Talbot’s unread note symbolizes Luke’s desire for clear instructions and answers for navigating his new life. Luke views it as a way to “know everything” (11). “Surely,” he thinks, “Mr. Talbot would have written something incredibly wise” (6). He rests all of his faith in the note, particularly because it is his only link to the outside world. The note takes on greater meaning because it comes from a familiar source and remains his only connection to his old life. He hopes the note will supply guidelines for understanding school, finding courage, and building a better future for third children.

Luke is disappointed at the note’s message, which simply contains the words “Blend in” (41). He feels that note will help him find the strength to confront his new environment and now, “he [doesn’t] even have enough backbone of his own to sit” (43). Luke’s desire to read the note helps him to realize his goals. His determination to read the note no matter what forces him to be brave. Although he dismisses the note as “worthless,” he recognizes that it “led him to the woods” (51). Luke vows that “nothing c[an] stop him from visiting the woods again” (47).