The White Mountains

by John Christopher

Start Free Trial

What does this mean,"For though man does not live on bread alone, it is bread they must have first?" Ozymandias tell this to Will.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Will and Henry are cousins who fight all the time.  At one point when they are thirteen they are facing the tradition of being "capped" by the Masters.  The Masters are an alien race who has invaded the earth and taken over.  Will and Henry don't want to be capped.  While observing the world around him and paying attention to the transients.  Will meets Ozymandias who at first appears to be a crazy old bum but eventually gives Will good advice.  During one of their conversations Ozymandias tells Will, "For thought man does not live on bread alone, it is bread he must have first."

This quotation means that we all need education, friends, life experiences and emotional experiences to become whole, well rounded human beings.  We do not survive simply on food and water.  However, as a teacher, I can assure you that Ozmzndias is correct when he says,"It is bread he must have first."  There is no way we can get people or children or any living thing to learn if they are hungry.  That is one reason we provide breakfast and lunch for children in American schools today.  If a person is hungry they will not focus on anything but their survival.  So, although we need many things to live a good life, without first having food we will not survive.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team