How we cite our quotes:
"Everything begins only to end. The moment you were born you began to die. That's how it is with everything." (2.21)
Just because something has to end doesn't mean it's meaningless. In fact, it could be argued that the inevitability of death makes life even more meaningful.
I don't think Elise was too sad about her baby brother being dead. And I don't think she was too sad that he was going onto the heap of meaning. I think Elise was more afraid of her parents than of us, and that that was why after a long silence she said, "We can't." (9.22)
Fear is a big motivator in these kids' lives: fear of parents, fear of their peers' wrath, fear of Pierre Anthon being right. Do you think fear more often motivates us to do the right thing, or the wrong thing, as it does for these student?
"The dead are to rest in peace."
Peace. More peace. Rest in peace. (9.27-28)
Teller does this funky three short sentence fragments thing throughout the book. It's a hallmark of her distinctive voice as a writer, and often these fragments are about death. Sometimes rhythm is just as important as content.