| Quote #10
Then the stories of blood-stained bridal sheets and capsules of red ink bestowed on already deflowered brides floated back to me [...] I couldn't possibly be a virgin any more. I smiled into the dark. I felt part of a great tradition. (19.65)
Esther believes that she has undergone the "spectacular change" she expected when she lost her virginity (see Quote #7 above). Instead of being empowered by her experience, however, Esther's sexual encounter leaves her with a dangerous hemorrhage and she needs to be taken to the emergency room, further underscoring the connection between sex and violence in the novel.