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Dragonwings Quotes

30 of the best book quotes from Dragonwings
  1. #1
    “As I lay down on my mat and pulled the blanket up about my neck, it seemed to me that if this was the case, the demoness would surely be reborn as a rich Tang woman in her next life. I even toyed with the idea that perhaps we had been close to each other in some former life – a mother and child, even.”
  2. #2
    “I came to help,” Uncle snapped. “Not because I believe in your crazy dream. Call it an old man’s whim if you like.” But then Uncle relented for a moment. “And we didn’t come to laugh. There will be those among the Tang people who will laugh – but now they will have to laugh at all of us, for we’ll share in your folly.”
  3. #3
    “And all of a sudden I saw that if life seems awfully petty most of the time, every now and then there is something noble and beautiful and almost pure that lifts us suddenly out of the pettiness and lets us share in it a little. It did not matter whether Father flew or not. It was enough that the Company had come.”
  4. #4
    ″[Father’s] letters were certainly warm enough, filled with his worries about us and his longing to be back home. But a man cannot be a father in a letter.”
  5. #5
    “Dragons,” Father went on, “protect their own brood.”
  6. #6
    “I wish more than ever that I could be with you right now, for your father has undertaken no small task; but since I cannot be there, you must love him doubly hard. You must give him not only your own support, but also try to give him mine as well.”
  7. #7
    “Houses don’t mean much. It’s the people inside them that are important,”
  1. #8
    “It was kind of scary. One day we were living in a law-abiding community and the next day the city and the community had both dissolved, with every person for himself. It struck me that Father and I had probably walked by this house, feeling as safe as we could feel in a demon street, many times, and now here we were hiding behind what was left of it, trying to keep from getting shot.”
  2. #9
    [Father] hung his head for the longest time, staring down at his hands. I could only think of some immortal who had suddenly woken one morning to find himself in a man’s body and realized he was being punished. For the second time in my life, I made an important decision to be with him.
    “I want to fly too, Father,” I said.
  3. #10
    “It’s Mother who has to listen to [everyone in the village] laughing,” I pointed out.
    “I wish I could spare her that.” Father chewed the end of the brush’s wooden handle. “We have the easy part. All we have to do is fly. She has to live in the village.”
  4. #11
    “But finally it was time for me to return to my mortal world. It was reluctantly that the Lord said good-bye to me and added, “We will save a place at the banquet table for you. You will be eating with us soon, though, if you just remember to watch for the tests and hold to the dragon-ness within that softskin body. Now fare you well.”
  5. #12
    “It will go on after me, for this Company is an idea. It is a dream – a dream that is much older than you or I and only slightly younger than the world: Men must help one another in dangerous times and places.”
  6. #13
    “These are wings, if you have the courage to use them,” the Lord said.
    I looked dubiously at the wings. They seemed fragile things. But I was ashamed to let the Lord see me frightened after all the things he had said about the former me.
  7. #14
    “No,” Father let out his breath in a rush. “No. I’m sick of having to deal with thieves and pimps and pushers. I’m sick of having to scrape and bow to men who live off the misery of their brothers and sisters. […] Don’t you see? We’re all tainted by it. As long as we keep quiet and let it go on, we’re as bad as they are. It eats at them; it eats at us.”
  1. #15
    “I had found my mountain of gold, after all, and it had not been nuggets but people who had made it up: people like the Company and the Whitlaws. I had not realized until I had left it that I had been on the mountain of gold all that time.”
  2. #16
    “He was my father and yet he was a stranger to me. I had never seen him.
    I thought to myself, How can we ever speak to one another? He’s as strange to me as a demon.”
  3. #17
    “There were groceries and herbal shops, clothing shops and laundries, halls that housed the brotherhoods or the district associations or the offices of family clans. Uncle pointed out the building of the district from which any family came and to which I could go for help. Besides that there was the Lee family building, which would help everyone who was named Lee.”
  4. #18
    “Miss Whitlaw had a smile like the Listener, She Who Hears Prayers, who refused release from the cycle of lives until all her brothers and sisters too could be freed from sin.”
  5. #19
    “The Company’s days were filled with cheerful shouting and singing and swearing and hammering. We were putting up a new building, one made of stone and guaranteed to last a century. It was hard work, but it was exhilarating – the kind of feeling that comes from being alive and taking part in some great common enterprise.”
  6. #20
    “Moon Shadow, you once asked me who or what caused the earthquake. I don’t know. It could have been the gods, or dragons, or demons, or it could have simply been a natural event. It doesn’t matter, supernatural or natural; it means the same. This life is too short to spend it pursuing little things. I have to do what I know I can and must do.”
  7. #21
    Black Dog looked at me intently. “Why shouldn’t we get some pleasure in this life? Why later? Why not now?”
    “Because we don’t owe things just to ourselves. There are others.”
  1. #22
    “I don’t think the demons were necessarily bad for not wanting to help others. They might have been scared, or so shocked they could not really know how selfish they were being.”
    author
    Laurence Yep
    book
    Dragonwings
    character
    Moon Shadow
    concept
    fear
  2. #23
    “I think the reason Uncle had originally been so strict with Father was that he thought of Father as his spiritual son. He hoped that Windrider would be everything that Uncle had once wished Black Dog to be. And like any parent with a child, Uncle was hurt and angry when Windrider did not behave as Uncle wanted. But then, with Dragonwings, Uncle came to accept the fact that he was not always right.”
  3. #24
    “I’m not going to build another Dragonwings. When I was up there on it, I found myself wishing you were up there, and your mother with you. And I realized I couldn’t have the two of them together: my family and flying. And just as I saw the hill coming at me, I realized that my family meant more to me than flying. It’s enough for me to know that I can fly.”
  4. #25
    “There was some beauty to life after all, even if it was only the beauty of hope.”
  5. #26
    “I stared at the brick as it slid across the clean, worn, wooden floor, and at the glass that scattered about my feet. Outside I could hear jeers and shouts. For one moment I glimpsed howling, sweating, red-and-white faces, distorted into hideous masks of hatred and cruelty, a sea of demon heads that bobbed restlessly outside our store. I could not understand the words they were growling out, but their intention was plain. They wanted to burn and loot and hurt. Looking into that huge mass of faces was like looking into the ugliest depths of the human soul.”
  6. #27
    “Perhaps…” Miss Whitlaw tapped a finger against her lips for a moment. “Perhaps the truth of the dragon lies somewhere in between the American and the Chinese versions. He is neither all-bad nor all-good, neither all-destruction nor all-kind. He is a creature particularly in tune with Nature, and so, like Nature, he can be very, very kind or very, very terrible. If you love him, you will accept what he is. Otherwise he will destroy you.”
  7. #28
    “I was proud of Father for wanting to be a dragon again, and even prouder of the fact that he was now so close to achieving his ambition to fly. I was just sorry that we had not been able to combine his more lofty goals with the more ordinary dream of seeing Mother.”
  8. #29
    “During the next year, I learned that the Company was more than a group of men wanting money. We were brothers: strangers in a strange land who had banded together for mutual help and protection. There were arguments, of course, but they were always worked out.”
  9. #30
    “The founder [of the Company] had written: “The three virtues of the Stranger are to be silent, to be cunning, but above all to be invisible.”

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