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Quotes

Quote #4

A meeting was arranged and one day Mr. Warren arrived at the clinic with his daughter Nicole, a girl of sixteen (2.3.1).

Talk about becoming a foreigner. Imagine being checked into a Swiss psychiatric clinic when you are sixteen. The clinic is a symbol of both hope and off the hopeless, but always of foreignness. We are almost afraid to look at it, and at the people who undergo treatment there.

Quote #5

But I was gone again by that time – trains and beaches they were all one. That was why he took me traveling but after my second child, my little girl, Topsy, was born everything got dark again (2.10.28).

Travel is often represented in the novel as a cure for Nicole’s illness. She seems to thrive on new places. She even remarks that her "principal interest is in archeology," which is usually a very travel based profession. But travel seems to be of no help here. Why not?

Quote #6

"She is now the wickedest woman in London – whenever I come back to Europe there is a new crop of the wickedest women from London. She’s the very latest – though I believe there is now one other who’s considered almost as wicked" (3.5.72).

We chose this passage because it’s really funny, and also because it shows us something interesting about Tommy. Notice there is no hint of derision when he talks about London, unlike Dick, Nicole, and the others. Maybe that’s because he’s part French, part American, was educated in London, and fought for like almost a dozen different countries. Remember, Tommy has no country. He is the eternal foreigner. Or, he is a citizen of the world – and as such, maybe nobody is foreign to him.

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