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Quotes

Quote #4

"Never!" I cried. "Oh no, Grandmamma! That couldn't be true!" (4.34)

Here, our narrator could be responding to anything: a story about a witch turning a child into stone; the fact that there are witches all over the world; or even the sad truth that he and his grandma have to move back to England. Yet what he's really responding to is the fact that "witches are able to make the grown-ups eat their own children" (4.33). That's a little worse than all those other options, but because our narrator is amazed by everything – seriously, everything – it could be interchangeable.

Quote #5

What a splendid place this was! (5.58)

Our narrator is reacting to the ballroom in the hotel: huge, with rows of beautiful chairs and a thick carpet. How does the feeling of the room change once the witches come in for their meeting?

Quote #6

"I've heard about that!" my grandmother cried out excitedly. "But I never quite believed it! You are the first non-witch ever to see it happening!" (14.39)

Before now, no human has ever seen the Grand High Witch perform her famous magic trick of turning another witch into a puff of smoke with her eyes. Grandmamma is amazed by this. It's like the difference between seeing a news report on a super-fast, new roller coaster and talking to your friend who just rode it. It's much more amazing getting the news firsthand.

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