"But then why should I worry about all of that: the library wasn't going to be my life." (61)
"John McRubberbands was in his last years at Newark State Teachers Colleges where he was studying at the Dewey Decimal System in preparation for his life work. The library was not going to be my lifework, I knew it" (32)
This shows the contrast between the lives of John McRubberbands and Neil. Since Neil has been with Brenda, he has realized that he wants to do something more with his life than being a librarian. Neil looks at John and realizes how his life is worked around the library and does not want to fall under the same path. This is why he always tells himself "the library wasn't going to be my life." I think Neil also admits this to himself to prove to not only himself, but Brenda and her family, that he will be successful and have a chance with Brenda in the future. This is seen when Neil tells Brenda, "I'm a liver" after she questions his plans for future life. Neil wants to embrace the present with Brenda and remember the memories he shared with her.
"He don't tale pictures like no colored men would. He's a good picture taker... look, look, look here at this one. Ain't that the fuckin life? (37)
"It's okay I'm not in school. I ain't supposed to be in school." (60)
This shows the culture discrimination of the African American race. The little boy is so used to being looked down upon that even he thinks the black race does not have any potential for success. When we first meet the boy, he admits that "blacks are unable to take good pictures." He then admits later in the novel that "blacks are not supposed to be in school." The boy has grown up in a world were blacks have been ostracized and judged that now even he believes in these stereotypes.
3. Garden of Fruit
I think games was an important concept in this chapter. When Brenda and Neil were in the pool, they played different games were they challenged their love for each other. I think this was important both figuratively and literally in their relationship. These "games" showed Brenda's and Neil's commitment towards each other. In the beginning, the couple tested their trust in each other. They both dove into the pool and rose the question of fear and survival. By the end, Neil realizes his love for Brenda and finally admits to her" Please, no more games.. I love you, I do." (54). This was the first time readers were able to see that Neil could not live without Brenda.
In this chapter, viewers see the interactions between the little African American boy and Neil. Again, Roth makes it clear through his writing the distinction between the black and white race. This is seen when the little boy assumes, because of his race and previous experiences, that blacks are seen as criminals. This is why the boy states, "Look, man, I ain't doing nothing wrong. I didn't do no writing in anything. You could search me." (59). It's important for readers to also notice the dialect of the black boy. Roth makes it very distinct the intellectual difference between Neil and the black boy through the characters tone. By making the boy say "ain't and "no nothing wrong" we are able to tell that the boy has grown up in a family where education is not important. This again draws the clear distinction between the white and African American race.