Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 418
Here are some quotes from Delta Wedding:
"Laura put her head on Aunt Ellen's shoulder and sank her teeth in the thick Irish lace on the collar of her white voile dress which smelled like sweet peas" (12).
Laura, a relative of the Fairchilds, is so happy to be part of the family that she almost wants to taste the goodness of her aunt, Ellen, after her mother has died.
"Laura found herself with a picture in her mind of a great bowerlike cage full of tropical birds her father had shown her in a zoo in a city—the sparkle of motion was like a rainbow, while it was the very thing that broke your heart, for the birds that flew were caged all the time and could not fly out" (18).
Laura thinks the Fairchilds, with their strange motions, resemble tropical birds who are exotic but who will not leave their cage. In a similar way, the Fairchilds will not leave Shellmound, their estate.
"Troy Flavin was the overseer. The Fairchilds would die, everyone said, if this happened. But now everybody seemed just too busy to die or not" (38).
At first, the Fairchilds are opposed to the marriage of Dabney and Troy Flavin, the overseer, but they get used to the idea and move on.
"She saw Uncle George lying on his arm on a picnic, smiling to hear what someone was telling, with a butterfly going across his gaze, a way to make her imagine at all once that in that moment he erected an entire, complicated house for the butterfly inside his sleepy body" (42).
Dabney understands Uncle George's inherent goodness and how he appreciates each member of the family as if they were each a precious and rare butterfly.
"Robbie said, 'George Fairchild, you didn't do this for me!'" (79).
Robbie, George's wife, opposes his trying to save Maureen when her foot gets caught in the track when the train is coming. Robbie feels that her husband, George, loves his family more than he loves her, but she eventually accepts her husband's commitment to his family.
"Laura, there's something to tell you. We want you to stay. To live with us at Shellmound. Until you go to Marmion, perhaps" (312).
At the end of the book, Laura becomes a member of the family, though she is also somewhat separate from it. Aunt Ellen predicts that Laura will one day live at Marmion, the house where Dabney is now going to live, continuing the cycle of the family.