From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Family Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
On Saturdays Claudia emptied the wastebaskets, a task she despised. There were so many of them. Everyone in her family had his own bedroom and wastebasket except her mother and father who shared both—with each other. (1.10)
The idea that everyone has their own bedroom and wastebasket adds to the alienation that Claudia feels from most of her immediate family—except Jamie, that is. Instead of describing what they're like as people, we only see the family through the wastebaskets that Claudia empties.
Claudia sighed, "I don't want Steve. Steve is one of the things in my life that I'm running away from. I want you." (1.30)
How touching! Claudia chooses Jamie, out of all her brothers, to run away with her. Unlike the rest of the family (whom she's running away from), she wants to keep her relationship with Jamie. Maybe it's because he has a lot of money, or maybe it's just because they both get along (for the most part) and don't feel totally happy with their adventure-less lives at home.
And in the course of those miles Claudia stopped regretting bringing Jamie along. In fact when they emerged from the train at Grand Central into the underworld of cement and steel that leads to the terminal, Claudia felt that having Jamie there was important. (2.60)
Claudia is such an independent spirit—and kind of hardheaded to boot—but even she comes to realize the importance of teamwork. With Jamie's financial savvy, and her own ambitious ideas, they can do anything.