What are some quotes from Ana in Seedfolks?  

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hgarey71 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Paul Fleischman's novel Seedfolks, Ana is the second character introduced. Her character vignette is only five pages long. Ana is an older woman and doesn't plant anything in the garden. Her role in the story is that of a watcher and one who can chronicle the many changes in the neighborhood over the years. Following are some quotes that show her character traits.  

"I do love to sit and look out the window. Why do I need a TV when I have forty-eight apartment windows to watch across the vacant lot, and a sliver of Lake Erie? I've seen history out this window. So much." 

This is the opening line in Ana's character vignette. From this, we understand that she is an observer, that she has a long history in the neighborhood, and that she lives in the apartments that overlook the vacant lot where the garden will be established.

In the following quote, Ana describes the neighborhood.

"This has always been a working class neighborhood. It's like a cheap hotel--you stay until you've got enough money to leave. A lot of Slovaks and Italians moved in next. Then Negro families in the Depression. Gibb Street became the line between the blacks and the whites, like a border between countries. I watched it happen, through this very window." 

When Ana observes Kim planting the lima beans in the vacant lot, Ana comes to her own conclusions as to what Kim is doing, which reveals more of her personality to readers. 

"I never had children of my own, but I've seen enough in that lot to know she was mixed up in something she shouldn't be. And after twenty years typing for the parole department, I just about knew what she'd buried. Drugs, most likely, or money, or a gun." 

When Ana goes down to the vacant lot to uncover what Kim has buried, she feels ashamed when she realizes they are beans. 

"The truth of it slapped me full in the face. I said to myself 'What have you done?' Two beans had roots. I knew I'd done them harm. I felt like I'd read through her secret diary and had ripped out a page without meaning to." 

The last line of Ana's story reveals more about her and causes the reader to make an inference. She says: "That afternoon, I bought some binoculars." Whether she bought them so that she could see better what was going on in order to not make another mistake, or because her curiosity about the bean grower was now piqued, or both, is for the reader to decide.