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Quotes

Quote #1

Like silent, hungry sharks that swim in the darkness of the sea, the German submarines arrived in the middle of the night. (1.1)

The novel begins with this image of the German submarines preying on the islands. Why does the author compare the German submarines to sharks? How is man-made violence connected to violence in the natural world?

Quote #2

I was not frightened, just terribly excited. War was something I'd heard a lot about, but had never seen. The whole world was at war, and now it had come to us in the warm, blue Caribbean. (1.5)

At 11 years old, Phillip is as innocent as they come. Having no experience of the violence of war, he is excited by the arrival of the Germans in the Caribbean.

Quote #3

Then I began to wonder if the Germans would send soldiers too. About nine-thirty I sneaked out of bed, went to the tool house, and took a hatchet out. I put it under the couch. It was the only thing I could think of to use for fighting the Germans. (2.3)

Phillip begins to fear the Germans, so he arms himself with a hatchet. What else might Phillip have done besides arming himself? Is there ever a nonviolent solution to violence?

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