© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Quotes

Quote #1

[My dad] told me if I see a suspicious character on the street, I should follow him and observe his activities; he might be a spy. It's wise to be suspicious. The enemies are everywhere. (4.1)

This belief that "enemies are everywhere" creates a super paranoid society, where citizens couldn't be sure who they could trust—not even family members.

Quote #2

When I hear him yell "Death to the enemy of the people!" I freeze. (12.2)

What a surprise to hear something like this yelled out during an innocent snowball fight. But is this playground game really so innocent? Who seems to be in control of the game? How is the game supporting Soviet patriotism?

Quote #3

"Up, Sobakin!" calls Nina Petrovna. "How dare you repeat the sacred laws after Zaichik? Into the corner, criminal!" (13.10)

Here's just one example of how even the most innocent of actions can have a guy labeled "criminal." Vovka isn't doing anything but following the teacher's instructions, but he's excluded from the group activity because his dad's been arrested. Classic case of guilt by association.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top