How we cite our quotes:
"Myra," said her father. "Elya and Igor have each offered a pig for your hand in marriage. It doesn't matter to me. A pig is a pig. So I will let you make the choice. Whom do you wish to marry?"
Myra looked confused. "You want me to decide?"
"That's right, my blossom," said her father.
"Gee, I don't know," said Myra. "Which pig weighs more?"
"They both weigh the same," said her father.
"Golly," said Myra, "I guess I choose Elya – No, Igor. No, Elya. No. Igor. Oh, I know! I'll think of a number between one and ten. I'll marry whoever guesses the closest number. Okay, I'm ready." (7.93-98)
This is a pretty silly example of someone having trouble making a choice. Besides the fact that it's funny, does this moment suggest anything else about what it means to make – or refuse to make – choices?
"Well, let me tell you something, Caveman. You are here on account of one person. If it wasn't for that person, you wouldn't be here digging holes in the hot sun" […]
"That person is you, Stanley. You're the reason you are here. You're responsible for yourself. You messed up your life." (12.35, 40)
Not that we trust Mr. P, but his take on things is that Stanley's situation is all the result of poor choices. What do you think of this? Besides the fact that we know it's not true (Stanley didn't really steal the shoes, after all), do you think it's that simple? Does anyone make choices in a vacuum, without being affected by other people or society?
His hole was waist deep. He dug his shovel into the dirt. As he dumped it out, he thought he saw something glisten as it fell onto the dirt pile. Whatever it was, it was quickly buried.
Stanley stared at the pile a moment, unsure if he'd even seen it. Even if it was something, what good would it do him? He'd promised to give anything he found to X-Ray. It didn't seem worth the effort to climb out of his hole to check it out. (13.10-11)
Talk about a lack of freedom. Faced with his own powerlessness in the face of the Warden and X-Ray, Stanley has few choices. Even the choices he does seem to have are restricted by others.