by Laurence Yep
Dragonwings Principles Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"But the demons will beat Moon Shadow," Mother protested.
"They don't do that so much anymore." Hand Clap carefully wiped his sticky fingers on his tunic sleeve. "And they wouldn't do it to a child. Even the demons have some principles." (1.27-28)
Early in the book, Yep shows that principles are culturally relative but existent in everyone.
[...F]or Grandfather, having a queue was part of being a Tang man. He would as soon lose his nose as his queue. But even if he had been a revolutionary who knew what the queue really meant and hated the thought of wearing it, there was still the principle of the matter." (4.14)
Moon Shadow understands Grandfather's fight to death in the name of honor and dignity of self. Even if Grandfather had thought his queue was silly, there's a difference between him doing something about it and others doing something about it through violence. Moon Shadow agrees that this difference is worth dying for.
"Here, John." The demon unbuttoned his coat and reached into his pants pocket, but father shook his head.
"No tip. Happy just to look at horseless."
The demon stopped and studied Father as you might look at a dog that had suddenly said he was going to the opera. "Well, I'll be damned," he said. He reached into a pocket of his waistcoat and took out a card, and handed it to Father with a flourish. "I can use honest handymen like you. You come around anytime, you sabe me?" (4.45-47)
Windrider demonstrates his earnest fascination with machines and his willingness to help beyond financial gain. This ends up coming in handy, too, when he finds work with Mr. Alger.