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Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt


by Jack Gantos

Dead End in Norvelt Lies and Deceit Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

"It's more of a love war movie." I lied. It was totally a war movie except for when the soon-to-be-dead Marines talked about their girlfriends. (1.23)

This seems like a small lie, and not really harmful, but it establishes a pattern of dishonest behavior on the part of Jack and his entire family. Are white lies nothing but a gateway drug? Once you tell one, are you just a short slide away from rock-bottom and checking yourself into Liars Anonymous?

Quote #2

I knew it [the ticket for the weeds] was going to have to be a secret I'd pay for myself. (4.4)

You know what they say about good intentions serving as paving stones to a particularly undesirable destination? Here, Jack has the best of intentions: he plans to pay for the ticket himself, and wants to avoid any further trouble with his Mom. And we all know what happens next. (Mr. Spizz tricks him into buying the lethal rat poison.)

Quote #3

"Don't you dare mow this, mister […] Don't you dare!" […]

In my mind I heard her say, 'Don't you dare mow this or I'll tell your father you fired that sniper rifle.' (4.32-33)

Secrets can be as deadly as any loaded sniper rifle. Here, this ploy doesn't work for Jack's mom, since Jack is caught between conflicting loyalties to his mom and dad. But just think—if Jack had just 'fessed up to his dad, this whole story might never have happened.

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