Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

Both touched toward fourteen; it almost trembled in their hands.

And that was the October week when they grew up overnight, and were never so young any more (Prologue.5-6)

How, exactly, have Will and Jim grown up by the end of the novel?

Quote #2

For it was no longer the street of the apples or plums or apricots, it was the one house with a window at the side and this window, Jim said, was a stage, with a curtain – the shade, that is – up. And in that room, on that strange stage, were the actors, who spoke mysteries, mouthed wild things, laughed, sighed, murmured so much; so much of it was whispers Will did not understand. (6.10)

This is really the only part of the novel where sex is addressed at all. But because of the boy's ages, they don't see this as sex – they see it as a stage with naked actors. This is a great example of the way the innocence of the characters affects the perspective of the narration.

Quote #3

Framed through the hall door Will saw the only theater he cared for now, the familiar stage where sat his father […] holding a book but reading the empty spaces. In a chair by the fire mother knitted and hummed like a tea-kettle. (8.3)

Will's entire view of his family is marked by a sort of childlike innocence. There's a simplicity to this; his mother is domestic, and so she is a like a tea-kettle. His father is the wise, old man reading a book.

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