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The Borrowers

The Borrowers

by Mary Norton

Prejudice Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Everything they had was borrowed; they had nothing of their own at all. Nothing. In spite of this, my brother said, they were touchy and conceited, and thought they owned the world. (1.44)

That's pretty weird. The borrowers have absolutely nothing, yet they think they own everything. Or maybe that's the point. Because if nothing belongs to anyone, per se… if you're always just borrowing from someone else… well then no one really owns anything in the first place.

Quote #2

They thought human beings were just invented to do the dirty work—great slaves put there for them to use. At least, that's what they told each other. (1.46)

Mrs. May makes a good point, here, don't you think? Do the borrowers need to make up a story of ownership in order to make themselves feel better, or to justify their less-than-moral actions?

Quote #3

That's why my father says it's a good thing they're dying out… just a few, my father says, that's all we need—to keep us. Otherwise, he says, the whole thing gets […] exaggerated. (9.67)

What? Human beings are dying out? Arrietty seriously needs to check her sources. We know this isn't true, but this untruth totally shapes the way Arrietty sees the world—and humans. So that's one way prejudice is perpetuated in this novel—through misinformation.

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