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Quotes

Quote #7

"This isn't funny, Joey. She's very depressed. You've given her a depression and you need to stop messing around. Do you understand?" (3.2.41)

Carol gives Joey a serious (and well-deserved) guilt trip. Fair enough. But is it possible to "give" someone "a depression"? We'd say it's a little more complicated than that.

Quote #8

Somewhere above the fog, the sky was turning blue. (3.3.372)

This just might be our favorite line in the book. Franzen's prose, which involves such deep excavation of emotion, doesn't usually lend itself to short power-packed lines like this. But this is a great one, simple and direct. The fog is depression. Above the fog, life is great, the sky is blue, and things are really turning around for the better. For the person under that fog, though, she'd never know about this blue sky business, because the fog is so thick, and prevents her from seeing the blue.

Quote #9

Although Joey knew enough to be afraid of hard-core mental illness, it seemed to him that if he eliminated from his pool of prospects ever interesting college-age girl with some history of depression, he would be left with a very small pool indeed. (3.5.94)

We might just as easily put this passage in the "Visions of America" section, because it is a pretty devastating portrait of the millennial generation.

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