American Gods

American Gods

American Gods Interlude Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The narrator describes the many events of the war between the gods, which mortals try to explain as normal events despite their strangeness. At this point, it’s still a “cold war,” with casualties on both sides but no outright fighting. Bilquis, who used to be worshipped as the Queen of Sheba, sells herself on the street in Los Angeles but is forced inside when it starts raining. After a week of rain, she places ads on sites like LA-escorts.com and Adultfriendfinder.com to try to drum up some more business and ease her withdrawals from lack of worship.
Gaiman helps match up the crazy world of the gods with reality, making it seem possible that the events of this novel were really happening underneath the surface of everyday life, and adding to the idea of American Gods as a kind of modern myth. Bilquis, in her attempts to go online, tries to adapt to modern life in America instead of staying stuck in the old ways that are no longer serving her.
Themes
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
When the rain stops, Bilquis goes back outside, hoping to attract some of the businessmen driving by. A car pulls up behind her and Bilquis gets in, hoping to find a customer. A smug looking teenager (Technical Boy) greets her, saying that he can pay for whatever he wants, as a technical boy. The boy then calls Bilquis by her name and sings “You’re an immaterial girl living in a material world,” badly. Bilquis realizes she is in danger and jumps out of the car as it is moving.
It seems that Bilquis’ forays online caught the attention of Technical Boy, alerting him to her presence so that he could target her as one of the first casualties of the war between the gods. He is still smug in his sense of power, stealing the lyrics of a Madonna song to taunt Bilquis, calling attention to the fact that Bilquis is immaterial – made of belief, a substance which is rapidly disappearing.
Themes
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Deception Theme Icon
Running down the Los Angeles street, Bilquis whispers passages from Song of Solomon, desperately trying to tap into her power to help herself escape. The car speeds behind her and crushes Bilquis into the street, as Bilquis curses the boy inside. Technical Boy gets out, still singing about an analog girl in a digital world, sneers at “all you fucking madonnas,” and walks away.
While Bilquis quotes the beautiful language of the Bible, Technical Boy can only continue to regurgitate old pop songs—again displaying a lack of creativity and “staying power” in the New Gods. His reference to “Madonnas” references the singer of the song “Barbie Girl” that he is ripping off, but also nods to the “Madonna-whore” complex that expects women to either be immorally promiscuous or virginal.
Themes
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon