The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

by

Dashka Slater

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1001 Blank White Cards Symbol Analysis

1001 Blank White Cards Symbol Icon

1001 Blank White Cards, a game Sasha and their friends invented, symbolizes Sasha and their friends’ desire to have their nonbinary gender identity recognized and respected. The card game begins as a single stack of index cards during Sasha’s freshman year in high school. Some of the cards are blank, and others are filled with silly puns, inside jokes, and random thoughts and dares. The is no real point to the game, and it really “can’t be won,” but it is a fun way for Sasha and their friends to spend their time. When the game begins, Sasha is known as Luke, and as the cards fill up, Sasha slowly grows secure in their true gender identity. The rules of the game stipulate that if a player addresses Sasha with the wrong pronoun, they must immediately discard, and by the end of their senior year, the cards grow to a stack over two feet tall. Symbolically speaking, the cards reflect who Sasha and their friends are, or who they have become, and they digitally scan them “for posterity.” In the beginning, the cards remind Sasha’s friends to respect their pronouns and gender identity. Recognition of their gender identity is important to Sasha, and this is further reflected when they petition the White House to recognize nonbinary gender. The cards serve to legitimize Sasha’s gender identity early on. Of course, their friends no longer need to be reminded to respect pronouns and gender identities, and in this way, the cards symbolize optimism that others can grow to accept and respect nonbinary gender identity as well.

1001 Blank White Cards Quotes in The 57 Bus

The The 57 Bus quotes below all refer to the symbol of 1001 Blank White Cards. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Macmillan edition of The 57 Bus published in 2017.
Part 1: Becoming Sasha Quotes

“I don’t want for people to think of me as a he, and when they say he, not only does it reinforce in their brains that I am a he, it also reinforces in the brains of the people who are listening,” Sasha explains. “It doesn’t really directly affect me, at least to hear it—it’s more like, Huh, that’s not right. And when people use the right pronoun, it feels validating.”

Related Characters: Sasha (speaker)
Related Symbols: 1001 Blank White Cards
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
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1001 Blank White Cards Symbol Timeline in The 57 Bus

The timeline below shows where the symbol 1001 Blank White Cards appears in The 57 Bus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: 1001 Blank White Cards
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
...Blank White Cards,” or “Index Cards,” in which a growing stack of previously blank note cards expands with jokes, silly commands, and random thoughts. If a player draws a blank card,... (full context)
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Binary Thought and Inclusive Language Theme Icon
...Blank White Cards has no real objective and it can’t really be won, unless the card that reads “Game over, Ian wins!” is drawn. Over the last four years, the game... (full context)
Part 1: Becoming Sasha
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Binary Thought and Inclusive Language Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
...another person, and the others at school grew accustomed to their gender-neutral pronoun. A new card entitled “Luke…Sasha…Person” was added to their deck of index cards. Now, if anyone playing calls... (full context)
Part 4: 1001 No-Longer-Blank White Cards
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Binary Thought and Inclusive Language Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon
...January, before heading back to college, Sasha and Michael get together and play the index card game. The game is “still funny,” and Sasha draws the card that is meant to... (full context)