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Quotes

Quote #4

A sickness came over me. A rage—directed more at myself than she. How dare I sit idly and let this boy be taken? How dare I allow something as petty as fear—as insignificant as my own life—keep me from what must be done? No! No, I should sooner die at her hands than die from shame! (3.28)

No one actually dies from shame in this book. Phew. But Abe really is putting his life on the line by following his sense of duty here. Duty may not be the same as sacrifice, but there are real costs and dangers.

Quote #5

"Ask yourself... are we so unalike, you and I? Are we not both unwilling servants of my condition? Did we not both lose something significant to it? You a mother? I a life?" (3.78)

Ah, the budding friendship between a would-be president and an old, bitter bloodsucker. Here we see Henry attempt to explain himself to Abe, but Abe is still tied to the bed so he won't kill Henry. (This is how all best friendships start.) Henry wants to make a connection with Abe over their shared sense of loss, which might be difficult, given the fact that he's holding Abe captive. But maybe he should be appealing to Abe's sense of duty, instead. After all, Abe's loss has given him that sense; he has to kill all vampires since a vampire killed his mom.

Quote #6

And in keeping with customs of the time, any wages he earned belonged to his father until his twenty-first birthday. (4.21)

Some duties aren't chosen by characters, they're just the duties that are expected in a certain society. So, back in Abe's day, parents (usually fathers) owned whatever the kids made until the kids turned 21, which may or may not have caused some problems for Macaulay Culkin. This sentence just lays out the situation, but the rest of this chapter points out how much Abe totally resents this obligation. Is that just because he doesn't get along with his dad or is it because this is a duty that Abe didn't choose for himself?

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