| Quote #1
A few blocks south lay the Walnut Street Prison, where Blanchard had flown that remarkable balloon. From the prison's courtyard it rose, a yellow silk bubble escaping the earth. I vowed to do that one day, slip free of the ropes that held me. Nathaniel Benson had heard me say it, but he did not laugh. He understood. Perhaps I would see him at the docks, sketching a ship or sea gulls. It had been a long time since we talked. (1.28)
The image of Blanchard's hot air balloon appears repeatedly in the novel. How is the balloon representative of Matilda's own dreams? Does she relate to Blanchard? What is it that Matilda wishes to escape from?
| Quote #2
I was going to travel to France and bring back fabric and combs and jewelry that the ladies of Philadelphia would swoon over. And that was just for the dry goods store. I wanted to own an entire city block – a proper restaurant, an apothecary, maybe a school, or a hatter's shop. Grandfather said I was a Daughter of Liberty, a real American girl. I could steer my own ship. No one would call me little Mattie. They would call me "Ma'am." (2.41)
Matilda is quite the entrepreneur, and here her dreams include traveling to France. She also wishes to expand her family's business. Notice how capacious, far-reaching her dreams are. How is Mattie's dream part of the American Dream?
| Quote #3
The next stall had fresh lemons. I scratched the peel and held one to my nose. Paris would smell like a lemon peel, far away and wonderful. I bought a dozen and kept one in my hand as I shopped. (5.51)
Ah, the sensual world. Mattie loves the smell of lemons, as they make her think of Paris. Why might that be? Also, notice that the lemons are yellow. What else is yellow in this novel?