Dead End in Norvelt
Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Something had to be wrong with me, but one really good advantage about being dirt-poor is that you can't afford to go to the doctor and get bad news. (1.31)
Isn't it ironic, don't you think? And not any of that fake irony, either. We're talking real irony here—the hard, cruel, cold kind. Jack's family doesn't have enough money to go to the doctor, but at least they won't find out that there is something even more horrifically wrong. This has its own morbid sense of logic.
Working people always share the same history of being kicked around by the rich. (2.92)
If you guessed that Miss Volker says this, you would be correct. This is another example of how she works to draw Jack's attention to the social and economic inequalities that aren't always reported in the history books.
"I'd rather everyone have the same basic food on their plate" Mom said, "instead of some rich people eating steak and some poor people eating beans." (4.48)
This is pretty radical talk—but Jack's mom doesn't see it as particularly radical. These are the values that Norvelt was built on, and, to Mrs. Gantos, they're the values it still ought to hold. In her world, everyone helps each other out. Sounds nice, right? What are the good and bad aspects of this kind of thinking?