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The Borrowers

The Borrowers

by Mary Norton

Society and Class Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

She felt quite safe; Homily liked her to write; Homily encouraged any form of culture. Homily herself, poor ignorant creature, could not even say the alphabet. (2.17)

You know what word jumps out at us here? Culture. Notice that Homily doesn't encourage expression or learning. Just culture. As if that's a ticket to greener pastures.

Quote #2

But I went on about it so. What's a tea cup! Your Uncle Hendreary never drank a thing that wasn't an out of a common acorn cup, and he's lived to a ripe old age and had the strength to emigrate. My mother's family never had nothing but a little bone thimble which they shared around. But it's once you've had a tea cup, if you know what I mean… (3.13)

Shmoop has a hunch that Homily would like this song. Because really, now that she's had a taste for fancy china teacups, how could she go back to drinking from a regular acorn cup?

Quote #3

To go and live like Hendreary and Lupy in a badger's set! The other side of the world, that's where they say it is—all among the earthworms.

[…]

"Nuts, that's what they eat. And berries. I wouldn't wonder if they don't eat mice—" (4.23, 24)

Why do you think Homily is more afraid of emigrating—because of the actual dangers of living on "the other side of the world," or because of how others will see her once she's moved there?

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