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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 498

Almost sternly, reproachfully he was saying, “—the Gulf War has given your generation a tragic idea of war and diplomacy; the delusion that war is relatively easy, and diplomacy is war, the most expedient of options.”

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This quote by the Senator gives readers insight into his character. For one thing, it shows just how disconnected he is from Kelly and her peers—by age, gender, and position. He is speaking in a condescending, senatorial tone, and although Kelly is flattered by his attentions, she is also angered and disappointed.

In retaliation, she responds, “There is no such thing as ‘my’ generation, Senator. We’re divided by race, class, education, politics—even sexual self-definition. The only thing that links us is our—separateness.”

Kelly is clearly expressing her idealist outlook. She wants to make him understand her point of view. And although her response impresses him, it is apparent that he doesn’t really take her seriously. She is just another conquest to him.

Senator, I’m sorry—you must have heard this sort of thing thousands of times.

This quote is from Kelly, animatedly speaking to the Senator about his political ideas, after she confessed that she wrote her senior honors thesis on him at Brown. She is excited by many of his social program proposals, such as daycare centers, support of the arts, and free medical facilities. The Senator is enchanted by her attention, knowledge, and persuasive tone. She makes him feel important—as if his ideas really matter.

He responds, “Yes, Kelly, perhaps, but never from you.”

The Senator is flattered that Kelly believes in him and his work; at the same time, he is flirting with her, making her feel special to win her attentions.

I think we’re lost, Senator.

Kelly says this phrase several times throughout Black Water , and it constitutes a...

(The entire section contains 498 words.)

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Critical Essays