© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Quotes

Quote #1

"There was one man they hanged here in 1782 who had murdered twenty-six people. I've often thought somebody ought to do a book about him sometimes. George Minor Moakely. He sang a song on the scaffold. He sang a song he'd composed for the occasion." (13.26)

There's a reason they call Cat's Cradle gallows humor. This quote is a perfect example of why. It finds the humor in death, which, to be fair, is a pretty difficult thing to do.

Quote #2

"And that was why [Emily] died when little Newt was born." (14.19)

Emily's death is the first one that really gets discussed in the novel. It's also a difficult one to pin down because it has so many different causes: her husband's neglect, an automobile accident, and Newt's birth. The who, what, where, and how of blame gets all jumbled up. So—maybe it was just fate?

Quote #3

"It's a small world," I observed.

"When you put it in a cemetery, it is." Marvin Breed was a sleek and vulgar, a smart and sentimental man. (31.15-16)

The quote echoes later scenes in the book where mass graves are used to bury massive amounts of people. The world certainly does seem smaller in a cemetery. We could argue the same for history.

Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top