How we cite our quotes:
"Yes, and he was our little brother. I think that was why"—she thought for a moment, still smiling to herself—"yes, why he told us such impossible stories, such strange imaginings. He was jealous, I think, because we were older—and because we could read better." (1.34)
Ah, good old sibling rivalry. If you have an older sibling, or younger one, we bet you can relate. What's so great about this sibling rivalry is that it ends up feeding Mrs. May's brother's imagination. So even though the older ones have the power, the youngster has the power of his mind.
"The child is right," she announced firmly.
Arrietty's eyes grew big. "Oh, no—" she began. It shocked her to be right. Parents were right, not children. Children could say anything, Arrietty knew, and enjoy saying it—knowing always they were safe and wrong. (6.60-61)
This is a big part of growing up, isn't it? The moment when your parents admit that you're right and they're wrong is a huge moment on the path to adulthood.
"All the same," said Pod uncertainly, "the risk's there. I never heard of no girl going borrowing before."
"The way I look at it," said Homily, "and it's only now it's come to me: if you had a son, you'd take him borrowing, now wouldn't you? Well, you haven't got no son—only Arrietty. Suppose anything happened to you or me, where would Arrietty be—if she hadn't learned to borrow?" (6.70-71)
Okay here's a question: are young boy characters treated differently than young girl characters in this novel? Is the boy somehow freer than Arrietty?