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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

Mrs. Wexler always seemed surprised to see her other daughter, so unlike golden-haired, angel-faced Angela. (3.10)

Here Grace thinks of Turtle in terms of what she lacks when compared to Angela. It's really unfair to compare one of your children to an angel and the other to an animal; what's more, if the one person who might be expected to love both of those individuals equally (a mother) is making that kind of cruel comparison, what chance do they have of escaping it in the outside world? The word choice of "surprised" says volumes about how Grace treats Turtle, too – imagine if every time you saw your mother she seemed shocked to find out that you were part of the family. It's brutal.

Quote #2

Theo wanted to sign the receipt for his brother, but Chris insisted on doing it himself. Slowly, taking great pains, he wrote Christos Theodorakis, birdwatcher. (4.38)

It seems significant that Chris wants to articulate his name and position for himself, and not rely on his brother to do it for him. Although it's very difficult for him to do, in writing out his name and position for himself he's able to claim who he is and the kind of person he wants to be – and we're left wondering what position Theo might have filled in for him, if he'd been left to do the form instead. Remember, Theo fills out his form as a "brother."

Quote #3

'Today I have gathered together my nearest and dearest, my sixteen nieces and nephews'

'What!'

(Sit down, Grace Windsor Wexler!) (6.6)

Here, Westing is clearly making fun of the assembled heirs. He doesn't really mean that they're all related to him; in fact, only a few of them really are. He knew part of his audience well enough, at least some of them, to include information in the will that directly responds to how they will act when it is read. (It's almost like magic.) More importantly, what he's doing here is showing everyone his chosen family, to the despair of people like Grace, who rely on literal family bonds, especially in inheritance-type scenarios.

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