Saoirse makes decisions independent about how others feel about them. Even though her brother is often annoyed by her presence, because she loves him, she hangs out with him. She feels drawn to the shell in his room and continues to borrow it without his permission (“stealing it” according to him). She pursues the little lights that blowing it brings to her, without thinking how her father might react to wake up and find her gone, wanders into the sea despite her brother’s objections, and generally follows her own instincts. She feels drawn to things that will reveal her true form, such as the shell, the lights, her selkie coat, the seals in the ocean, and the sea itself. She continues to move toward those things even when others attempt to stop her. Saoirse knows somehow that blowing the shell will make the owls go away. Saoirse also gives the food she doesn’t want to the dog, rather than make any pretense of eating it. She feels quite nostalgic about the mother she never knew, and asks her brother to read the old familiar stories to her. Saoirse also doesn’t want to leave her brother and father at the end for the unknown, a life in the sea with her mother, because she’s attached to them. As a mute, she cannot speak but once shows her displeasure with her brother by kicking him in the shins!

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Saoirse is both able to block out other people, and in tune with their displeasure toward her – she becomes quite upset and offers to give back the shell when her brother becomes angry about it. She feels upset when he pushes her away and tells her to get lost, but then is quickly happy again as she walks into the tide. She is easily distracted, easily pleased, and easily allured by beautiful things that speak to her soul; she is part of nature and it is part of her. Saoirse tries hard to do the right thing and help out the faeries, her song restoring herself and her music bringing the faeries back to life from stone—even though it costs her all her effort and makes her faint.