How we cite our quotes:
"I don't think you'd better consider it any more, Father." (171)
Check out how cold Peter is while he delivers this threat. He's not throwing a tantrum (as discussed in Quote #2). He's like a little mob-boss: "Oh, this is a nice family, it'd be a shame if something happened to it." Shiver.
"Can't say I did; the usual violences, a tendency toward a slight paranoia here or there, usual in children because they feel persecuted by parents constantly, but, oh, really nothing." (180)
That "oh, really nothing" kills us. Here David McClean tells us how kids normally feel, which is violent and paranoid—but that's "oh, really nothing." It's nice to know that it's okay that kids aren't all cute smiles and spice. Kids can be mean and they can still turn out to be okay adults. (But still, that doesn't mean you should be a jerk, kiddos.)
"I sensed only that you had spoiled your children more than most. And now you're letting them down in some way." (197)
This is the real problem for George Hadley: he spoiled his kids and then he stopped spoiling them. We don't want to blame George here (okay, maybe we do), but as we learned from the Dog Whisperer, it's important to be consistent. Would this story have a happy ending if George just continued to spoil his kids? Probably… not.