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Quotes

Quote #7

August stares at her. His lower jaw moves a bit, but no sound comes out. Then he reaches forward and clasps her in his arms.

I have to look away. (17.173-74)

It hurts Jacob to see Marlena with someone else. He can't bear the thought of August "clasp[ing] her in his arms"; he can't even look while it happens. And this is a public embrace. Imagine what he must think about what could be going on between Marlena and August behind closed doors.

Quote #8

"So," he says. "Is this a postcoital celebration? Did I give you long enough? Or perhaps I should go away for a while and come back? I must say, the elephant is a new twist. I dread to think." (18.79)

There are a couple levels of irony here. For one, August is both right and wrong in accusing Marlena and Jacob of having an affair. He's right in that they've become emotionally involved, and you could probably say they're having an emotional affair. But August is focused on the physical, accusing them of conducting "a postcoital celebration," and that simply isn't the case. Up to this point Marlena and Jacob have only kissed. The other bit of irony is that August's accusation is the last straw. It's only after he accuses Jacob and Marlena of having sex that they end up doing so. Oops.

Quote #9

Afterward, she lies nestled against me, her hair tickling my face. I stroke her lightly, memorizing her body. I want her to melt into me, like butter on toast. I want to absorb her and walk around for the rest of my days with her encased in my skin. (20.184)

As soon as he's started falling for Marlena, Jacob is focused on combining sex with emotional connection. Here he manages to achieve that. The "afterward" means they just had sex, and yet as close as they were during their intimate physical time, here they seem even closer. It's interesting that Jacob wants Marlena to be inside him: "I want her to melt into me, like butter on toast. I want to absorb her and […] [have] her encased in my skin."

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