| Quote #1
I looked down at my bare feet and decided Gerda was going to pay. (5.35)
A hamster for sandals: do you think it's a fair trade, or is Agnes being unnecessarily harsh?
| Quote #2
That made Gerda cry even more and say I was the cruelest of anyone she knew. And when she had cried for two hours and was still inconsolable, I started having second thoughts and thinking maybe she was right. But then I saw my green wedge sandals on top of the heap and wouldn't budge. (6.8)
Gerda's sacrifice is the first morally questionable one. After all, Oscarlittle does die at the sawmill. Agnes's insistence that Gerda give up her hamster sets the stage for the increasingly vicious demands that follow.
| Quote #3
There were no longer tears on her cheeks. Instead her eyes were glowing with rage. She turned calmly to Hussain and in a gentle voice, her teeth only moderately clenched, said: "Your prayer mat!" (11.17-18)
If Ursula-Marie knew about Hussain's father's temper—and it seems likely she would, since they've gone to school together all their lives—her asking for his prayer mat is an indirect way of asking for his physical punishment for cutting off her hair.