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Quotes

Quote #4

Oh God. Oh God. I'm touching a breast. Through a dress, but still – (10.60)

When we contrast this description from a young, naïve, and excited Jacob with others that come from the experienced and elderly Jacob, it's actually kind of cute. Jacob is thrilled and overwhelmed by the fact that he's "touching a breast." It's not even a bare breast, but, as Jacob implies, this is still a monumental event in his sexual development.

Quote #5

[S]he continues turning, spinning in some kind of dervish. On the third rotation, I take her by the shoulders and press my mouth to hers. She stiffens and gasps, sucking air from between my lips. A moment later she softens. Her fingertips rise to my face. Then she yanks away, taking several steps backward and staring at me with stricken eyes. (11.147)

This moment of a first kiss between Marlena and Jacob is reminiscent of the scene when the two of them dance in front of Rosie. In that scene, they "twirl" (10.6); in this one, Marlena is "turning, spinning in some kind of dervish." The kiss becomes almost like an extension of the earlier dance. In both events, their bodies take over against their minds' best interest.

Quote #6

After he turns away, I pick it up and thumb through it. But despite the explicit and exaggerated drawings, I can't muster any interest whatever in Mr. Big Studio Director boning the skinny would-be starlet with the horse face. (12.173)

Jacob already shows how much he's growing up here. He's already less interested in sex for the simple sake of it, in being turned on just to get turned on. He's already become emotionally invested in Marlena, so sex on its own has less interest for him. He's holding out for sex with an emotional connection. On a side note, it's funny that Jacob would see the woman in the sexualized comic as someone "with [a] horse face"; this could be the effect of the animals and other elements of circus life spilling over and consuming his mind.

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