Study Guide

The Interestings What's Up With the Epigraph?

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What's Up With the Epigraph?

"While riding on a train goin' west
I fell asleep for to take my rest
I dreamed a dream that made me sad
Concerning myself and the first few friends I had"
- Bob Dylan, "Bob Dylan's Dream"

"… to own only a little talent… was an awful, plaguing thing… being only a little special meant you expected too much, most of the time." - Mary Robison, "Yours"

What's up with the epigraph?

Bob Dylan has a weird place in this book. He connects the older generation with the younger one through Jonah's mom—apparently Susannah told Bob before he was famous to stay with the Wunderlichs (7.76)—but that's about it. Maybe that's the kicker, though. Maybe this epigraph is talking about the transition between youth and adulthood, and how we never completely lose that younger self, even if it only sticks around in memories.

The other epigraph is even more of a tearjerker. It comes from a short story by Mary Robison called "Yours," which is about a couple making jack-o-lanterns while the wife slowly dies of cancer. The husband tells his wife her jack-o-lantern faces are much better even though he's the one with a little bit of artistic talent.

The connection to talent is pretty obvious, since most of Jules's character development is connected to how she has only a small amount of talent and never makes it as an actor. This epigraph speaks to Jules's high expectations that are never met and her constant disappointment with her life compared to her friends.

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