unigo_skin
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Quotes

Quote #4

When my mother did not return, I imagined all sorts of things. Maybe she had cancer and didn't want to tell us and was hiding in Idaho. Maybe she got knocked on the head and had amnesia and was wandering around Lewiston, not knowing who she really was, or thinking she was someone else. (22.42)

When do you think Sal first found out that her mother had been killed in a bus crash? Do you think she imagined all of these scenarios before or after discovering this tragic news? What role does Sal's imagination play in helping or not helping her get past her mother's death?

Quote #5

He went to the refrigerator, opened the freezer compartment, and indicated the plastic containers. "If your mother had been kidnapped by a lunatic, would she have had time to prepare all these meals? Would she have been able to say, 'Excuse me, Mr. Lunatic, while I prepare ten or twenty meals for my family to eat while I'm kidnapped?'." (22.60)

Mr. Winterbottom tries to convince Phoebe that she has no one to blame for her mother's disappearance but her own mother. But Phoebe is desperate to blame somebody, anybody, to explain why her mother would leave her. Sound familiar?

Quote #6

"How do you know that someone – not exactly a lunatic, but just someone – didn't make Mom go to Idaho? Maybe it was blackmail – "

"Sal. Your mother went because she wanted to go."

"We should have stopped her."

"A person isn't a bird. You can't cage a person."

"She shouldn't have gone. If she hadn't gone – "

"Sal, I'm sure she intended to come back." (22.73-78)

This is the first time we hear anyone talk about the idea that Sal's mom might have meant to come back home someday. How does this bit of news change our understanding of Chanhassen Hiddle?

Advertisement
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertisement
back to top