59 pages 1 hour read

Christina Soontornvat

A Wish in the Dark

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2020

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Important Quotes

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“Because while Pong was better than anyone at paying attention, and almost as good as Somkit at waiting, he was terrible at ignoring when things weren’t fair.”

(Chapter 1, Page 5)

This quote establishes the key strengths Pong uses to confront the conflicts in the narrative. Although his faith wavers at times, his strong drive for justice and his keen observational skills enable him to stand up for others.

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“How could fairness find its way to them through all that darkness?”

(Chapter 2, Page 9)

Pong’s thoughts as he watches the lights of Chattana establish the juxtaposition of light and darkness and their roles as symbols of justice and equality. The implication that darkness prevents the light (fairness) from reaching Namwon suggests the light as a tool of control, reflecting the way the Governor enforces the light-dark binary to maintain unequal social systems.

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“[Tip] leaned closer. ‘You know what Mama says: Trees drop their fruit straight down.’”

(Chapter 3, Page 14)

This aphorism demonstrates the prejudice that pervades Chattana’s upper class. The author varies the syntax and diction of the common aphorism “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” to emphasize the societal belief that wrongdoing is inevitable for those born outside the privileges of wealthy society.