The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt

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What is an analysis of the following quote from The Goldfinch?

"Everything was lost, I had fallen off the map: the disorientation of being in the wrong apartment, with the wrong family, was wearing me down, so I felt groggy and punch-drunk, weepy almost, like an interrogated prisoner prevented from sleeping for days. Over and over, I kept thinking I've got to go home and then, for the millionth time, I can't."

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This quote is from Theo's perspective in The Goldfinch. Theo is the protagonist of the book, and he makes this musing while he is staying temporarily with the Barbour family. At this point, Theo no longer has a home and is on his own. He keeps thinking about going home, but then he remembers that he doesn't have a home when he says, "for the millionth time, I can't." When Theo says he "had fallen off the map," he means that he is no longer understood. He is with the "wrong family" in "the wrong apartment," and it makes him feel isolated. He talks about feeling as though is in a daze, "groggy and punch-drunk." This relates to the way his entire world has changed. It also relates to the fact that both the bombing and the loss of his mother feel unbelievable. Theo is in shock and feels worn down. His reality does not feel like his own.

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