50 pages 1 hour read

Angela Carter

Nights at the Circus

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1984

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Part 3, Chapter 6-EnvoiChapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 3: “Siberia”

Part 3, Chapter 6 Summary

Walser continues to wander in the wilderness, having completely lost his rationality. He runs into a shaman, who thinks Walser is an apprentice shaman from another tribe. He gives Walser a hallucinogenic that makes him babble and relive his entire life in his head. The shaman picks him up to carry him back to his own village, and Walser cries out, “Oh, what a piece of work is man!”

Part 3, Chapter 7 Summary

The convict, who the circus members refer to as the Escapee, is a radical who wants to make a Utopia and is entirely focused on the ideal future. Lizzie is not impressed, particularly as she thinks it’s stupid to always be concerned about the future when the present is all you can count on. The clowns put on a show for the brigands with the intention of putting them in good humor, which would allow the circus group to negotiate their release. During the act, the clowns literally summon the forces of chaos and blow themselves and the brigand gang away. This allows the other circus members to escape, and the Escapee leads them all through the taiga. They find an old man living alone in a cabin.