by Jonathan Franzen
Find quotes from this novel, with commentary from Shmoop. Pick a theme below to begin.
Freedom and Confinement Quotes
"Walter thinks the liberal state can self-correct," Richard said. "He thinks the American bourgeoisie will voluntarily accept increasing restrictions on its personal freedoms." (2.2.649)
Visions of America Quotes
And that's what I find so refreshing about the Republican Party. They leave it up to the individual to decide what a better world might be. It's the party of liberty, right? That's why I can't unde...
And Patty was undeniably very into her son. Thought Jessica was the more obvious credit to her parents – smitten with books, devoted to wildlife, not so pretty as to be morally deformed by it, ad...
Time passed in a peculiar manner which the autobiographer, with her now rather abundant experience of murdered afternoons, is able to identify as depressive (at once interminable and sickeningly sw...
"I wonder if she's actually in love with Walter, or not," Seth mused optimistically, uncorking a final bottle. "Physically, I mean." (1.1.17)
"I know essentially nothing about sex," Walter confessed."Oh, well," she said, "it's not very complicated." (2.3.105-106)
In one letter Eliza wrote, I think we need to make rules for each other for protection and self-improvement. Patty was skeptical about this but wrote back with three rules for her friend. No smokin...
Things came, Patty complained, too easily to Joey. [...] He perfected a highly annoying smile of condescension when face with toys or games that other boys owned but Patty and Walter refused to buy...
Lies and Deceit Quotes
Oh Walter: did he know that the most intriguing thing about him, in the months when Patty was getting to know him, was that he was Richard Katz's friend? Did he notice how, every time Patty saw him...
And a neutral bystander he [Walter] remained all through the spring and summer of Joey's sophomore year and into the following fall, when Jessica went off to college in the East and Joey moved out...