by Jerry Spinelli
Maniac Magee Freedom and Confinement Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Before Maniac could go to sleep, however, there was something he had to do. He flipped off the covers and went downstairs. Before the puzzled faces of Mr. and Mrs. Beale, he opened the front door and looked at the three cast-iron digits nailed to the door frame: seven two eight. He kept staring at them, smiling. Then he closed the door, said a cheerful 'Goodnight,' and went back to bed. (12.26-27)
All right! Maniac has an address! And it's not confining at all, not unless you consider a big warm hug to be confining.
So he turned and started walking north on Hector, right down the middle of the street, right down the invisible chalk line that divided East End from West End. Cars beeped at him, drivers hollered, but he never flinched. The Cobras kept right along with him on their side of the street. So did a bunch of East Enders on their side. One of them was Mars Bar. Both sides were calling for him to come over. And then they were calling at each other, then yelling, then cursing. But nobody stepped off a curb, everybody kept moving north, an ugly, snarling black-and-white escort for the kid in the middle. (21.11-12)
Yeah, he's moving, and yeah, he's outside, but he's about as trapped as he possibly can be.
Every morning, same thing. You get to expect it. Some mornings, you forget Mom's milk and head right on over to the lean-to. The creature offers you a carrot, but all you know how to deal with is milk. You nuzzle the new, funny-smelling, hairy-headed animal. It nuzzles you back. Mom doesn't seem to mind.
After the nuzzling, the stranger climbs over the fence and goes away, not to return until that night. Only, one morning the stranger falls from the fence and lies on the ground, on the other side. It doesn't move. You try to poke your nose through the chain links, but you can't reach, you can only watch…only watch… (22.3-4)
The Baby Buffalo is behind a fence, and Maniac can come and go as he pleases. But even though he's technically free right now, Maniac has about as little control over his life as the Buffalo does at this point.