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Quotes

Quote #1

“It is so difficult—at least, I find it difficult—to understand people who speak the truth” (1.23).

Mr. Beebe, the speaker here, sums up an opinion apparently held by all of conventional society according to Forster: nobody can really understand the people who are direct and honest, since everyone else is so caught up in simply following social cues.

Quote #2

"Poor girl? I fail to understand the point of that remark. I think myself a very fortunate girl, I assure you. I'm thoroughly happy, and having a splendid time. Pray don't waste time mourning over me. There's enough sorrow in the world, isn't there, without trying to invent it. Good-bye. Thank you both so much for all your kindness. Ah, yes! there does come my cousin. A delightful morning! Santa Croce is a wonderful church" (2.49).

We see Lucy deceive herself for the first time here, in conversation with Mr. Emerson. At this point, she’s unskilled at lying, and it comes off as awkward and hilariously uncool.

Quote #3

"I want to be truthful," she whispered. "It is so hard to be absolutely truthful" (7.10).

Again, we see how very difficult it is for characters in this world to come to terms with themselves and with others. The thick layers of social convention that one has to struggle through in order to get to truth, which is constantly being obscured, are incredibly difficult to surmount.

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