The Secret Miracle
How we cite our quotes:
To make the wait easier, the sergeant handed him a cigarette. Hladik did not smoke; he accepted the cigarette out of courtesy, or out of humility. (9)
Even though the sergeant is about to order Jaromir's death, their last few minutes together are marked by an act of kindness and graciousness between the two men. The sergeant offers Jaromir a cigarette; Jaromir politely accepts. What gives?
Someone was afraid the wall would be spattered with blood; the prisoner was ordered to come forward a few steps. Absurdly, Hladik was reminded of the preliminary shufflings-about of photographers. (10)
This is weird. Not the most profound observation, but it's true. All this shuffling around seems really silly, even though the situation is mortally serious. What effect does this mix of funny and horrifying have on the reader?
He came to love the courtyard, the prison; one of the faces that stood before him altered his conception of Römerstadt's character. (12)
Why does Jaromir come to love the prison? Doesn't this seem a bit strange?