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Quotes

Quote #10

What did it feel like to die? Was it a peaceful sleep? Some thought it was full of either trumpet-blowing angels or angry devils. Perhaps I was already dead. (20.86)

Again, Mattie contemplates her own mortality. As the fever epidemic escalates, how do life and death become almost indistinguishable? Is Mattie one of the living dead?

Quote #11

"Your grandfather was a wise man. You couldn't have saved him, Mattie. It was his time."

I sniffed and took a shaky breath.

"What happened after he died?" she asked.

I filled in the rest of the story quickly, this strange day that began with a burial and ended with a homeless child in my arms. (22.42-22.45)

Again and again, Mattie must realize that death has an opposite: life. Here, the loss of one dear person – Grandfather– is juxtaposed with the addition of another to the family – the orphan Nell.

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