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Maniac Magee

Maniac Magee

by Jerry Spinelli

Freedom and Confinement Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Aunt Dot and Uncle Dan hated each other, but because they were strict Catholics, they wouldn't get a divorce. Around the time Jeffrey arrived, they stopped talking to each other. Then they stopped sharing. (1.7-9)

No wonder Maniac feels trapped: he's surrounded by two of everything. Anything, even homelessness, sounds preferable than being confined in two homes smushed into one.

Quote #2

And that's when the running started. Three springy steps down from the risers—girls in pastel dresses screaming, the music director lunging—a leap from the stage, out the side door and into the starry, sweet, onion-grass-smelling night. (1.13-14)

Okay, we love Maniac, but really: why does Maniac think his only option here is to run? Maybe he should have tried harder to talk to someone first.

Quote #3

When he wasn't reading, he was wandering. When most people wander, they walk. Maniac Magee ran. Around town, around the nearby townships, always carrying the book, keeping it in perfect condition. (8.15)

Maniac may be wandering, but he's already got ties to his future home that he carries with him. Maybe this is the happy medium between freedom and confinement: wandering, but carrying a tie to home.

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