| Quote #7
Some are not who they say they are, and some are not who they seem to be. (7.67)
Well, that's a mouthful. Can't those things – seeming and saying – overlap, too? In fact, if it comes to identifying someone, it can be pretty tricky to figure out the difference between "who they say they are" and "who they seem to be." We'd like to add that some characters are pretending so hard to be other people that they don't even notice the difference.
| Quote #8
I am what I am. I don't need a crutch to get attention. (12.35)
When Turtle says this to Sydelle, she means it literally – Sydelle relies on literal crutches and the assumption of a limp to get people to feel sorry for her and pay attention to her. Turtle has a bad attitude about it because she thinks it's like cheating about your identity; as Turtle says, she is what she is. But as Angela will note, the idea of the crutch can also stand as a metaphor, and in that case, Turtle does rely on one. For more on this, see our section on "Symbols, Images, Allegory."
| Quote #9
What would I have been if things had turned out differently? (18.71)
This is a question any of the characters could ask – really, it's a question any of us readers could ask too – but it's especially poignant coming from Chris, who will always be in a wheelchair. At this point in the novel, he's still imprisoned by his body, to the point where he can't always control his speech or his movements, and he worries that his medical condition has deprived him of the chance to create an identity that wouldn't suffer from these medical, physical, and financial burdens.