| Quote #1
Time stood still, and it shared with me all that had been, and all that was to come. (1.10-11)
This book is about the connection of the past to the future. Antonio acknowledges this in the opening paragraph, so right off the bat we're primed and ready for what's to come (and how the past has affected it).
| Quote #2
A long time ago the house belonged to a very respectable family (3.263-264)
What seems like a simple remark about a house actually gives pretty good insight into the setting of the novel. As time has progressed, the "respectable" families have moved away, so who is left?
| Quote #3
"Long ago," she would smile, "long before you were a dream, long before the train came to Las Pasturas, before the Luna came to their valley, before the great Coronado built his bridge." (4.35-38)
Do you ever think back to a time when you were little and everything seems just perfect? Most of us have a great capacity for romanticizing the past. We like to leave out the bad stuff (or we make the bad stuff seem like the most horrible stuff ever just to up the drama factor). The past functions a lot like that in the novel. Often, when people talk about the past, you can almost picture the winsome look on their face. The past is like a dream or a fairy tale, and it seems as if it were ten times better than the crappy present.