Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 415
That was something Gen had never considered, that General Benjamin had children, that he had a home or a wife or any kind of existence outside of the group that was here. Gen had never stopped to think about where they lived, but wouldn't it be a tent somewhere, hammocks strung between the muscular limbs of jungle trees. Or was it a regular job to be a revolutionary?
This quote shows the revolutionaries and the captive beginning to see each other as human beings. Gen, the translator who comes from a privileged background, has asked asked General Benjamin to help him with chess. This startles and flatters the general, who thinks highly of the translator. Gen, in turn, is startled when the general mentions having children. He has never thought of him as anything but a cardboard terrorist. We see the start here of two very different and opposed groups beginning to overcome their differences and imagine each other as individuals.
What he believed in was this china closet, saucers and soup bowls, towering stacks bread-and-butter plates. He believed in this night. . . . He was here, only here, in this country he did not know, waiting on the girl he taught and loved, waiting to help Mr. Hokosawa, whom he loved as well. There was Gen, who came from nothing to loving two people.
Gen has transcended his job and his country. What matter most now to him is love. He is intoxicated by Carmen and his meetings with her in the china closet. This quote exemplifies how love has begun to saturate the characters near the end of the novel. Gen is a captive who has temporarily lost everything that gave him a place in the wider world, but he has found gifts more important in his love for not one but two people. The here and now has become the most important part of his life.
How much luck is one person entitled to in a night? Does it come in a limited allotment, like milk in a bottle, and when so much has poured out then only so much is left?
Carmen has just successfully orchestrated the rendezvous between Mr. Hokosawa and Miss Coss, and now is planning to slip out of the house with Gen for a rendezvous in the garden. Using the lyrical language of simile, likening luck to milk in a bottle, Carmen wonders if her rendezvous with Gen will work. It will, showing that love can pour out abundantly.
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