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The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

Art and Culture Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Hugo’s father had stepped into a dark room and on a white screen, he had seen a rocket fly right into the eye of the man in the moon. Father said he never experienced anything like it. It had been like seeing his dreams in the middle of the day. (1.8.48)

Films aren’t just silly things that you watch mindlessly. For Hugo’s father, they were a departure from the real world, a dive into the kind of fantastical imagination that only comes out when you’re sleeping.

Quote #2

“Sometimes I think I like these photos as much as I like the movies,” she said. “You can make up your own story when you look at a photo.” (1.9.22)

Art is totally subjective—you can make what you want out of it. Isabelle points this out when they look at photos in the cinema. She can look at the pictures and make her own stories.

Quote #3

It was about an artist, a lost lottery ticket, a criminal, a borrowed coat, and an opera singer, and it had one of the most amazing chase sequences that Hugo could ever imagine. (1.9.27)

The movie they watch is amazing to Hugo and lets him escape from his real life for a little bit. He’s not just a boy who has been abandoned in a train station; he’s engrossed in a film that lets him slip into another world, if only for a little bit. Then that other world will come to him, when he has that chase scene with the Station Inspector, toward the end of the novel.

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