The Marrow Thieves, a dystopian novel by Cherie Dimaline, captivates readers with its poignant quotes that delve deep into themes of survival, identity, and the relentless pursuit of dreams. Dimaline’s powerful prose weaves a narrative set in a future ravaged by climate change and a world where dreams are a sought-after commodity.
In one quote, the protagonist reflects on the sacrifices made for a life worth living, emphasizing the resilience required to navigate a harsh reality. The willingness to risk everything for a better future, even when one may not live to witness it, encapsulates the overarching theme of hope and determination present throughout the novel.
- “Sometimes you risk everything for a life worth living, even if you’re not the one that’ll be alive to see it.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “We go to the schools and they leach the dreams from where our ancestors hid them, in the honeycombs of slushy marrow buried in our bones. And us? Well, we join our ancestors, hoping we left enough dreams behind for the next generation to stumble across.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “I did have the longest hair of any of the boys… I braided it myself each morning, to keep it out of the way and to remind myself of things I couldn’t quite remember but that, nevertheless, I knew to be true.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “She settled her chin in the crook of my collarbone. Her breath poured into the space like tea into a cup.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “When we heal our land, we are healed also.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “Do you think circumstances make people turn bad? Or that people make circumstances bad to begin with?” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “Out here stars were perforations revealing the bleached skeleton of the universe through a collection of tiny holes.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “Sometimes the path in front of you alters. Sometimes it goes through some pretty dark territory. Just make sure it doesn’t change the intent of the trip. As long as the intent is good, nothing else matters. Not in these days, son.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “And I understood that as long as there are dreamers left, there will never be want for a dream. And I understood just what we would do for each other, just what we would do for the ebb and pull of the dream, the bigger dream that held us all. Anything. Everything.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “Everything.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “But for now, like always, we couldn’t sit around on the couches and contemplate our world and what might lie ahead. We were outside, getting ready.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “Better to be in the forest, I thought. Where the dreams were shrouded in fog and cold and the group knew its order and stride by the weight of our want.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “I felt content, maybe even a little more than that. I was alive and climbing a tree and a girl I was weak for was safe on the ground below. And I was doing something strong to keep her safe, to keep all of them safe. I felt old-timey, and something lush burst open in my chest.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “In some ways we were still happy. Issac had his words, both English and Cree, and I had my Issac.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “She’d collected the dreams like bright beads on a string of nights that wound around her each day, every day until this one.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
- “When we finally convinced ourselves to move, to make the day real, the sky was a cerulean blue with a light gauze of striated clouds.” ― Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves
The narrative delves into the impact of cultural suppression, as characters lament the extraction of dreams from their ancestral marrow. Dimaline skillfully blends elements of dystopian fiction with cultural undertones, exploring the consequences of a society that strips indigenous people of their cultural heritage. The honeycombs of slushy marrow buried in their bones become symbolic repositories of dreams, passed down through generations despite the dystopian circumstances.
The significance of tradition and customs is underscored in the quote where a character braids their hair daily, connecting to a past that holds elusive yet profound truths. This ritual becomes a tangible link to memories that resist erasure, offering a sense of continuity in a world that constantly threatens to disrupt the fabric of cultural identity.
Intimacy and connection also find expression in Dimaline’s writing, as demonstrated by the image of settling one’s chin in the crook of a collarbone. Amidst the dystopian backdrop, moments of human connection serve as a source of solace and resilience, underscoring the enduring power of relationships even in the face of adversity.
Nature and its healing potential are highlighted in the quote, “When we heal our land, we are healed also.” Dimaline intertwines the fate of the characters with the environment, suggesting a symbiotic relationship between humanity and the natural world. This connection serves as a source of strength and a reminder of the interdependence of all living things.
Philosophical questions are raised, adding layers to the narrative. The inquiry about whether circumstances make people turn bad or if people create adverse circumstances becomes a reflection on the complex interplay between individuals and their environment. Dimaline invites readers to contemplate the moral implications of survival in a world where the path ahead is fraught with challenges and moral ambiguities.
The narrative also ventures into the cosmic, portraying stars as perforations revealing the universe’s bleached skeleton. This metaphorical imagery underscores the fragility of existence and the vastness of the unknown, aligning with the characters’ journey through dark territories in pursuit of a brighter future.
The theme of dreams resurfaces, emphasizing their enduring power. The belief that as long as there are dreamers, there will never be a want for dreams reinforces the novel’s underlying optimism. The collective commitment to each other and the shared dream becomes a driving force, compelling characters to do anything and everything for the greater dream that binds them together.
The Marrow Thieves transcends its dystopian setting, offering a narrative that is rich in symbolism and thought-provoking quotes. Cherie Dimaline’s exploration of survival, cultural resilience, and the indomitable human spirit resonates with readers, urging them to reflect on the parallels between the fictional world and the challenges of our own. The Marrow Thieves quotes serve as beacons of wisdom, guiding readers through a narrative that is as compelling as it is thought-provoking.