How we cite our quotes:
I am become like Locaha, measuring the contours of death. (2.23)
Mau thinks this when he has to bury his entire tribe at sea. It's a very serious moment, but we have to ask: how do you measure the contours of death? With a tape measure? And does knowing how big it is make it easier to deal with?
This [man] didn't worry [Mau], not after the memory of yesterday. [...] This was just a dead man. He didn't know him. People died. (2.72)
To deal with the insane amount of death the wave brought, Mau has to detach himself from reality. What other defense mechanisms does Mau employ, and does he do so consciously?
Now it was time for [the crabs'] perfect world. (2.75)
In the forest, Mau finds a dead trouserman being devoured by tiny little crabs. News flash: humans aren't the only creatures on the world. When humans die, life begins for other animals. Like flesh-eating crabs. Mm, tasty.