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Quotes

Quote #1

When I get to the room, Dad is sitting on the floor, holding his ear. The officer's leather belt creaks as he turns to look at me, his eyes bloodshot. (5.16)

It's all in the impressionistic details here. We don't see Sasha's dad get hit, but we still know it happened. His dad holding his ear and the creak of the belt imply what has just happened.

Quote #2

The guards pull out the drawers and dump our things on the floor. They shake loose pages out of our books. They cut up Dad's mattress and feel inside it. They tap on the walls, listening for hidden places, and open part of the floor where the nails are loose. Soon what we have is in a pile, torn and wrecked. The only thing they don't touch is a framed picture of Stalin. But they look behind it. (5.17)

Even though no one is getting smacked around right now, this is a major violation of Sasha and his dad's living space, so it's a sort of figurative violence. Let's face it: they don't have much anyway, and now what they do have is trashed. Makes you glad we have things like constitutional protections against illegal search and seizure in our country, huh?

Quote #3

The officer spins and slams the front door shut with such force, I have to pull back fast so it won't smash my face. (5.27)

Here we get a compact view of the unkindness and downright brutality toward children in this society. Who slams the door on an orphan?

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