List 5 short quotes in "Slave Dancer" and why they are important.
Quotes which are important because they represent major themes in the book are:
"You'll see some bad things, but if you didn't see them, they'd still be happening..." ("Moonlight").
Purvis says this as Jessie is being taken to the slave ship. Jessie is only thirteen, but as Purvis observes, he is not too young to see the harsh truths of life; his not knowing about them will not make them any less real.
"You have no idea how much you can get used to" ("Moonlight").
This chilling statement by Stout demonstrates how individuals and even societies can so quickly become immune to horror and atrocities inflicted upon others.
"...they wouldn't have passed laws against slaving if they hadn't found something else as profitable...that's the way of things" ("Night of Benin").
Purvis's observation expresses the sad truth behind the motives of nations' actions.
"I was back in my life, but I was not the same" ("Home and After").
Jessie's experience on the slave ship has left an indelible impression on his life. He is wiser and more aware of the true plight of the black man, and has an understanding of how the total dehumanization underlying the institution of slavery destroys men whose lives are no less precious than his own. From that time on,
"when (he) passed a black man, (he) often turned to look at him, trying to see in his walk the man he had once been" ("Home and After").