| Quote #7
The old man gave himself up willingly to his exhaustion and drifted off like a lazy, sky-high fly ball. Something deep in his heart, unmeasured by his own consciousness, soared unburdened for the first time in thirty-seven years, since the time he had so disgraced himself before the Mud Hens' scout and named himself thereafter a failure. The blanket was there, but it was the boy's embrace that covered and warmed him. (28.23)
Poor Grayson. Seriously. This is the first time in thirty-seven years that he's felt free—and why? Because he's taken responsibility for someone else.
| Quote #8
Other than that, he went wherever there was room to go forward—along roads and alleys and railroad tracks, across fields and cemeteries and golf courses. (33.6)
As long as he's moving, Maniac doesn't really have to think about all that's wrong—but is that really the same thing as being free? Or are his chains there just waiting for him to slow down?
| Quote #9
When he returned to the West End, he heard in the distance Mrs. Pickwell whistling her children to dinner. Though he had heard the whistle many times, he had not answered it since his first day in town. Now he felt, as he had that day, that it was meant for him." (40.1-2)
Maybe freedom is only really worth it when there is someplace you actually want to be. After all, it doesn't feel like freedom if you don't have anything to leave behind.