Thursday, March 20, 2008

Final Assesment for Vanishing Acts (8 Quotes)


1)"You can't exist in the world without leaving a piece of yourself behind" (Picoult 1).
This quote is the first sentence of the book, and the underlying theme throughout the entire novel. This is a very profound statement because it's one hundred percent true. Everyone touches the world in some way or another, whether its something as small as picking an apple from a tree, to something as large as rallying for women's suffrage.

2)"'Andrew Hopkins?' the second officer says. "We have a warrant for your arrest as a fugitive from justice, in conjunction with the kidnapping of Bethany Matthews'" (Picoult 25).
The significance of this quote is that this was the moment when Delia's life changed forever. She no longer knows who she really is, nor who she maybe once was. It makes her question the people and realtionships in her life. Who can she trust? Who is her real family? This event is the basis of the plot, and, therefore, I believe it is of great importance.

3)"I don't know which one of us reaches for the other, but suddenly I am in her arms, a place that I had to imagine my entire life. Her hands run over my hair and my back, as if she were trying to make sure I'm real. I try to narrow my mind to a sliver of recognition, but it's hard to know whether this feels familiar because I remeber it, or because I so badly want to" (Picoult 138)
This passage relates the reunion between Delia and her mother, after 28 years of being apart. This is the moment Delia has dreamed of her entire life, the moment of knowing her mother existed. I can relate to this quote in that sometimes I want so bad to believe something, that it starts to become true in my mind, even if it's unrealistic or incorrect. Delia does the same thing with embracing her mother. She wants it to be familiar so bad, that she starts thinking she recognizes it.

4)"'Eric,' Delia asks, 'did my father say anything else about me?' Her question is clear as a bell; the cell phone reception is crystalline. But I hold the phone away from my ear. I make static noises. 'Dee, can you hear me? I'm going under some power lines...' 'Eric?' 'I'm losing you,' I say, and I hang up while she is still talking" (Picoult 181).
This quote jumped out at me right away. I noticed at once that it is a perfect example of symbolism of Delia and Eric's relationship. When Eric says "I'm losing you" he means he's losing her (supposedly) on the line, but I take it to mean he's losing her relationship wise. Plus, once you start lying to your spouse about anything, well, that can't be good. This event foreshadows troubles to come in their relationship.

5)"When you're a parent you find yourself looking at the unknown that is your child, trying to find a piece of yourself inside her, because sometimes that is what it takes to stake a claim. I remember watching you making muddy nixtures in the sandbox, and wondering if a love of chemistry was something you might be born with. I remember listening to your tearful recollection of the monster in your nightmare, trying to see whether it resembled me" (Picoult 54).
I really like this quote because it helped me realize that Andrew really is a good man and a good father. He cares enough about Delia to worry about scaring her away, by being the monster she sees in her dreams. He doesn't want to be that man, he doesn't want to lose her love. I thought this quote was really powerful and it was definitely one I remembered through out the book. This quote shows Andrew's true character, and, in the end, proves to be a perfect description of the only family Delia really has. Family is not a matter of blood, but of relationships cherished forever, family is about love.

6)"What is right, in the end, is not always what it seems to be, and some rules are better broken. But what about when those rules happen to be laws?" (Picoult 261).
I feel like this passage is also one of the bases of the book. It is one of the themes presented continuously throughout the book. Eric is forced to choose between the law and the best interests of his family. He chooses to go with his family, even if it means breaking some of the rules. This passage is important because it brings this idea into light for the readers, helping them to recognize the conflicts faced by characters (law vs. what's really right) in later parts of the book.

7)"Eric kisses me so tenderly that it unravels me. I kiss him back, trying to find the same depth of faith. I kiss him back, although I can still taste Fitz, like a stolen candy tucked high against my cheek, sweet when I least expect it" (Picoult 285).
The significance of this quote is that it basically sums up the confusing feelings and relationships between Fitz, Eric, and Delia. Fitz loves Delia and wants her as his wife, but he also is best friends with Eric, who is engaged to Delia. If asked to choose between the two, Fitz would say he couldn't decide. The realtionships with each of them are so strong, that living wihtout either one of them would be impossible. Here it seems Delia also has some feelings toward Fitz, but she feels committed to Eric because of Sophie and the fact that they are engaged. Delia compares Fitz to stolen candy, like he was this relief from reality. However, she also wants to be loyal to Eric as shown when her thoughts read "trying to find the same depth of faith". She wants to be as loyal to Eric as he is to her.

8)"'In the case of The State of Arizona versus Andrew Hopkins, we find the defendant not guilty'" (Picoult 411).
This is the resolution of the story, the final statement that frees Andrew from all charges and gives him his life back. This verdict allows Delia and Andrew to start from fresh, leaving no secrets between them. Delia has discovered who her true family is, who her true father is, and that's Andrew. Now they can go home and just start over, which is what they both really need.

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