| 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.