Stranger in a Strange Land
How we cite our quotes:
"Woman, here, by the grace of God and an inside straight, we have a personality untouched by the psychotic taboos of our tribe—and you want to turn him into a copy of every fourth-rate conformist in this frightened land!" (12.11)
Apparently wearing clothes makes you a conformist. Well, it's official: Shmoop is full of conformists. Casual conformists, but conformists no less. In any case, Jill tries to teach Mike the customs of Earth, demonstrating that sometimes transformations are placed on us by people who aren't even aware of their attempts to transform us.
"I have learned two ways to tie my shoes. One way is only good for lying down. The other way is good for walking." (12.59)
For Mike, learning slowly but surely transforms him into a human. Mistakes go doubly-so.
"I will try. But words are… are not… rightly. Not 'putting.' Not 'mading.' A nowing. World is. World was. World shall be. Now." (14.124)
Mike obviously transforms and grows throughout the novel, yet here, he might be suggesting that transformation and change don't actually occur. If there is only the present, then does transformation actually take place? Hmmm.