How we cite our quotes:
"One day his parents left him with a sitter and took the P&W high-speed trolley into the city. On the way back home, they were on board when the P&W had its famous crash, when the motorman was drunk and took the high trestle over the Schuykill River at sixty miles an hour, and the whole kaboodle took a swan dive into the water." (1.3)
The first abandonment. Is it harsh to say Maniac's parents abandoned him, when there was nothing they could have done about it? Maybe. But that doesn't change the fact that one day Maniac had parents, and the next, he didn't.
"Mr. Beale made a U-turn right there and headed back. Only Mrs. Beale was still downstairs when they walked into the house. She listened to no more than ten seconds' worth of Mr. Beale's explanation before saying to Maniac, 'You're staying here.'" (12.24)
This is the opposite of abandonment—for the first time someone is sticking by Maniac, and he's getting an example of what a family really looks like. Consider our hearts warmed.
"If anybody could survive on the loose, it would be this kid who showed up from Hollidaysburg. Who slept on floors. Who outran dogs." (18.19)
Maniac is uniquely suited to life on the run. But is this because he's been abandoned or is there something special about him already? Would another kid have ended up in foster care, or worse?