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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #4

"They look sort of funny to me," he complained, "I don't want to be made a monkey of –"

"You've made a monkey of me!" retorted Mr. Button fiercely. "Never you mind how funny you look." (1.2.21-2)

It’s interesting that Benjamin, too, has a social sense of self-consciousness.

Quote #5

"Never you mind how funny you look. Put them on – or I'll – or I'll spank you." He swallowed uneasily at the penultimate word, feeling nevertheless that it was the proper thing to say. (1.2.22)

How does Mr. Button define "proper" here? Why is it more "proper" to treat Benjamin as a baby instead of an old man?

Quote #6

When he was five he was sent to kindergarten, where he initiated into the art of pasting green paper on orange paper, of weaving coloured maps and manufacturing eternal cardboard necklaces. He was inclined to drowse off to sleep in the middle of these tasks, a habit which both irritated and frightened his young teacher. To his relief she complained to his parents, and he was removed from the school. The Roger Buttons told their friends that they felt he was too young. (1.3.10)

The Buttons’ reaction to their son has passed the point of denial and become a sort of ludicrous fantasy.

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