The House of the Scorpion
How we cite our quotes:
So Matt allowed her to go, but he was angry at the same time. It was a funny kind of anger, for he felt like crying, too. The house was so lonely without Celia singing, banging pots, or talking about people he had never seen and never would see. (1.10)
Matt begins his life in total isolation. He doesn't know or play with other children, and his only companion is Celia, who is gone for most of the day.
He could talk and talk and talk, but the people couldn't hear him.
Matt was swept with such an intense feeling of desolation, he thought he would die. He hugged himself to keep from screaming. (1.26)
We get an interesting contrast here between little six-year-old Matt's panic and despair and the narrator's own more mature voice, which uses words like "desolation."
Matt was frankly relieved to see them go. They were an unwelcome intrusion in the orderly world he had created. He could forget them now and get back to the contemplation of his kingdom. (5.110)
For the first time we learn just how psychologically damaged Matt has become due to his captivity. The only way he can deal with his powerlessness is by having total control over his sawdust kingdom.