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Quotes

Quote #1

That was one thing her Dad could never get off his mind – ways he could have made money and didn't. (1.3.85)

Poverty is a huge source of dissatisfaction and regret in the novel. Here, Mick's dad feels frustrated with himself, not because he is poor, but because he never manages to lift himself and his family out of that poverty.

Quote #2

I want – I want – I want – was all she could think about – but just what this real want was she did not know. (1.3.129)

She may sound like a bratty kid here, but she wants more than a mere lollipop or stuffed toy. Mick desires. And desire is something that runs much deeper than want. What she desires is a better life. So when Mick's sister's accuse her of being selfish earlier in this chapter, we realize that that selfishness might not be such a bad thing. It motivates her to make bolder choices. At least it does for a while.

Quote #3

When she walked out in the very rich parts of town every house had a radio. (2.1.23)

This scene highlights the huge gap between the rich and the poor in this town, and it's a gap Mick doesn't seem able to close. All she wants is a radio, but she's forced to listen to the radios of others in secret – a cruel reminder of her own frustrating poverty.

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