Quote Analysis Project
Once and Future King, Book 1: The Sword in the Stone
“After all, damn it all, we can’t have the boys runnin’ about all day like hooligans—after all, damn it all? Ought to be havin’ a first-rate eddication, at their age. When I was their age I was doin’ all this Latin and stuff at five o’clock every mornin’. Happiest time of me life. Pass the port.” (White, 381) These are the words of Sir Ector, Kay’s father. He said that to Sir Grummore Grummursum, as they were discussing sending the boys to go hawking. He said it was not safe to have the boys, Kay and Wart, to go hawking the whole day. They had just got rid of the governess, and they were discussing how they used to be bladed when they did the wrong thing. Sir Ector explained that when he was the boys’ age, he used to be doing the job as early as five o’clock. He wondered why the boys were learning at a slow rate, saying that they ought to be having a first-rate education at that age. I find this quote very useful in educating youngsters on how to learn from their parents. By saying that he was doing the stuff as early as five o’clock, the speaker indicates the importance of knowing how to play your role without much supervision. I also think the speaker wanted to show a comparison between the old generation and the new generation. The old generation was active in learning the culture from their elders. However, the young generation, being referred to in the quote, is reluctant to learn to hawk. I believe the important thing about life or the world in the quote is that education is essential for the current generation. Parents should teach their children the way of life not to face difficulties when they grow old.
“Oh, not so bad. Rattlin’ good day, in fact. Found a chap called Sir Bruce Saunce Pité choppin’ off a maiden’s head in Weedon Bushes, ran him to Mixbury Plantation in the Bicester, where he doubled back, and lost him in Wicken Wood. Must have been a good twenty-five miles as he ran.” (White, 291) Sir Grummore said the words. He was explaining how he was swished every morning when he was a young boy. He was punished because he used to go hawking instead of learning. He was staying the night as he had had in the long run. He said that as he passed a port to Sir Ector, as he attributed to his weaknesses as a young boy, saying that he never got beyond the Future Simple of Utor. He explained how he found a chap in the forest and whose name was Sir Bruce. He ran after him in the plantation, where he lost him. He said that to show what they used to go through during their youth age. I think the author included the quote in his work to show how old adults care about each other’s wellbeing.
The two men are drinking companions and seem to mind about each other. The quote also educates readers on how to save others. Just like Sir Grummore saved the maiden from the evil knight in the bush, I find the quote more helpful. The meaning of the quote relates to my life as it teaches me the importance of hard work. The older man had benighted out questing, and he saved the maiden in the process. The important thing about the world is said is that they know how to save their relatives from the evil knights’ attacks and ambushes. Old adults are more active in fighting for young people.
“that takes a deal of thinkin’ about, if you don’t mind my sayin’ so.” (White, 233) They are the words of Sir Grummore. He said this to sir Ector, who had asked him how he would advise the boys about going hawking and learning. They were helping themselves with a port of wine. He explained that advising the boys on learning Latin needed a lot of thinking as they were used to hunting than learning. He was stressed on how the boys used to run around, comparing them with hooligans. He laid his finger by his nose, and as he winked his nose, he said the words. I believe the quote teaches us the need to seek advice from our companions, just like Sir Ector invites Sir Grummore to advise him about the boys. It is my opinion that the quote teaches parents about the importance of educating children. The older men discuss whether to send the boys to Eton for learning or call a tutor. I feel the quote presents a moral to the reader. I can relate the book to my life as it reminds me of how my parents are concerned about sending me to school, just like the two older men discussing educating the boys. The important thing about life in the context is that parents recognize the need for basic and civil education.
“I think the way was behind that big spruce with the spike top. I ought to try to remember which side of me the sun is setting, so that when it rises, I may keep it on the same side going home. Did something move under that spruce tree, I wonder? Oh, I wish I may not meet that old wild Wat and have my nose bitten off! How aggravating Cully looks, standing there on one leg as if there was nothing the matter.” (White, 101) The Wart said these words in the forest. They had gone hawking with Kay, and they were tracing a Hawk they had lost in the forest. Kay became tired of following the Hawk and decided to go back. Wart was trying to trace his way inside the thick forest. He said those words in the process of trying to remember the way. He even could not remember which side the sun was setting, as he wanted to use it to find his way back home. He heard a movement in the spruce tree and wondered what had moved. He also wondered how Cully looked like as he stands on one leg. The quote has moral values. It teaches us to be brave like the Wart. He was left alone in the bush, and he was tracing his way without fear. We should also learn to make wishes when we are in predicaments, just like the boy wished not to meet the old Wat. The quote concerns me much as I see the need to lose hope in what I pursue in life. I also learn how to use the direction of the Sun to trace my way if I am lost. The important thing about the world in the context is that it is much different from today’s world. The boy doesn’t fear walking in the thick bush.
“If I were to be made a knight, I should insist on doing my vigil by myself, as Hob does with his hawks, and I should pray to God to let me encounter all the evil in the world in my own person, so that if I conquered there would be none left, and, if I were defeated, I would be the one to suffer for it.” (White, 181) The Wart made the quote as he wondered whether he could be granted the title of knighthood. He explained to Merlyn how he would be doing his vigil by himself, comparing with Hob and his hawks. He was staring at the burning fire dreamily and prayed to God to let him encounter all the world’s evils by his person. He was amused by how he could conger the evils alone during his youthhood so that he could not suffer when he became old. The quote teaches us how to do our things alone. Its advice on not letting others suffer as a result of our actions. Some people’s vigils are made to hurt others, and they inflict a lot of pain. We should avoid some deeds that can interfere with the normal life of another person. That is all that the author wanted us to learn. The quote concerns my life as I usually believe in God, and I seek His intervention. The important thing about life being said is that they believe in the existence of God. We learn not to make other people suffer as a result of our mistakes.
“There is a thing called knowledge of the world, which people do not have until they are middle-aged. It is something which cannot be taught to younger people, because it is not logical and does not obey laws which are constant. It has no rules. Only, in the long years which bring women to the middle of life, a sense of balance develops…when she is beginning to hate her used body, she suddenly finds that she can do it. She can go on living…” (White, 308). Merlyn quoted this in the process of teaching the Wart. He elaborated that it is not until you are middle-aged when you acquire knowledge. He meant that older adults are usually knowledgeable than young people. The Wart wondered why older people don’t think the same way as the young. Then Merlyn was amazed by the questions raised by the young Wart. He answered that the Wart should wait until he grows old to know the reason behind the difference in thinking. The author used the quote to educate women not to misuse themselves when during their young age. He detailed how women begin to hate their used bodies during the middle of their lives. It is all about knowing which is associated with older people. I find the quote useful in teaching young persons to respect older adults as they are more knowledgeable. The important thing in the context is that women are warned against misusing themselves. We are warned against arguing with older people since they have the knowledge which we lack. I learn to respect elders and wait until I develop enough knowledge to lead others in developing knowledge.
“Serve him right, then. He is a fool and it is a rotten hawk. Who wants a rotten stupid hawk? You had better stay yourself, if you are so keen on it. I am going home.” (White, 63) Kay said the words to the Wart. They had been in the bush following the Hawk. They had been whistling and luring, as they attempted to reach the disturbed and sulky Hawk which was jumping from tree to tree. The Hawk belonged to Hob, and they wanted to trace it and bring it back home. Kay had been exhausted by the long run and chase, he lost his tempers and decided to leave the Hawk. He described the Hawk as not useful. He told the Wart to continue following it if he needed it most and then took the wrong direction home. Kay was not keen on hawking like his friend, the Wart. That is the reason as to why he lost his tempers and decided to leave Wart to trace the bird alone. The quote teaches us to be patient in life. If Kay were patient enough, they would have secured the Hawk. The Wart was brave enough to remain in the bush and secure the hawk. He knew the hawk belonged to the Hob, and they had to bring it back. We should learn to do unto others what we expect them to do to us. The quote is relevant in my life because it teaches us to take care of other people’s belongings. The hawk belonged to Hob. We also learn from the Wart boy not to lose hope until we find what we are determined to seek.
“Life is such unutterable hell, solely because it is sometimes beautiful. If we could only be miserable all the time, if there could be no such things as love or beauty or faith or hope, if I could be absolutely certain that my love would never be returned: how much more simple Life would be. One could plod through the Siberian salt mines of existence without being bothered about happiness.” (White, 103) These are the words of T.H White in the novel. They were told when Merlyn was teaching the Wart about life issues. He wondered how Life could be without love or beauty or faith and hope. He compares Life to hell, wondering how it would have been if people could be miserable all the time. The quote teaches on the importance of love. I learn how to appreciate the love and give it to our friends. I also learn the need for faith and hope in my life. The quote is important in my life as it reminds me of the significance of taking my time to reflect on some life concepts. I also imagine how life would be without love, faith, and hope.
“My boy, you shall be everything in the world, animal, vegetable, mineral, Protista, or virus, for all I care-before I have done with you-but you will have to trust my superior backsight. The time is not yet ripe for you to be a hawk… so you may as well sit down for the moment and learn to be a human being.” (White, 59) These words were said by the old magician Mr. Merlyn to the boy Wart. He was training the boy how to go hawking. He used his powers to teach the young boy how to change into different animals and plants. He then quoted that the Wart could turn into all he wants, but he warned him against changing into a hawk. He explained that he should take his time and learn to be a human being first. I found the quote more relevant because it teaches us to learn Life from older people. The boy was keen during the lesson, and that is how he learned different things from the old magician. I also learn to respect others and to humble myself so that I gain knowledge. The quote teaches us how to live according to the environment, just like the young boy learning how to be different animals or plants to fit in all habitats. The most important thing here is to learn to trust what we are taught by our tutors to learn most and gain knowledge.
“Ah, yes. How did I know to set breakfast for two? That was why I showed you the looking-glass. Now ordinary people are born forwards in Time, if you understand what I mean, and nearly everything in the world goes forward too. This makes it quite easy for the ordinary people to live, just as it would be easy to join those five dots into a W if you were allowed to look at them forwards, instead of backwards and inside out. But I unfortunately was born at the wrong end of time, and I have to live backwards from in front, while surrounded by a lot of people living forwards from behind. Some people call it having second sight.” (White, 198) The words of the old Merlyn to the young Wart. The Wart had met the old magician drawing water from a well in the forest. He requested the old Merlyn to tell him the way to Sir Ector’s castle. They proceeded to the older adult’s house, which pleased the young boy. During the introduction process, the Wart requested to know how the older adult learned to prepare breakfast for two. Their conversation teaches us how to listen to older people if we have to learn from them. The Wart listened to the older man, and he learned much from him. The quote is very relevant because it teaches how to view things forward to learn with ease. I also learn how to look at the positive side of every situation. Like the older adult who admits living backward but from the front since he was born at the wrong end of time. I learn the importance of second sight in any situation. It helps in solving challenging issues in life. The important thing about Merlyn’s life is that he admits being born in the wrong end time, and he does not give excuses because he took it positively and learned to make things go forward. I find it the most interesting part of the story.
“Now I think it is time that you should go away, young master, for I find this conversation uninteresting and exhausting. I think you ought to go away really almost at once, in case my disillusioned mouth should suddenly determine to introduce you to my great gills, which have teeth in them also. Yes, I really think you might be wise to go away this moment. Indeed, I think you ought to put your back into it. And so, a long farewell to all my greatness.” (White, 113) The words of King of the Moat to the young Wart. He was taken there by his tutor Mr. Merlyn to learn to profess. The Monarch taught the Wart everything he knows about love and Life. When he was done, he commanded the young Wart to go away at once. The boy found himself in big fear since the big words got him unaware. He noticed the big mouth which altered the words was approaching him closer, ready to swallow him. He had to accept and ran away from the danger. I think the quote teaches us to be good listeners, just like the young Wart. He listened to his tutor, and through him, he learned many things. We also learn to obey the commands of our tutors. If the boy never obeyed, he would have been swallowed by the big-mouthed giant Moat. We should be keen to sense danger and avoid it where possible. The important thing about the world in the context is that there is a continuous changing of moods among the characters. The prevailing mood determines the kind of talk at that episode.
“He walked and worked among his villagers, thought of their welfare, and could tell the good workman from the bad. He was an eternal farmer, in fact—one of those people who seem to be employing labor at so many shillings a week, but who are actually paying half as much again in voluntary overtime, providing a cottage fee, and possibly making an extra present of milk and eggs and home-brewed beer into the bargain (White, 131).” Narrator’s words. He was describing Sir Ector as a careful and hardworking steward to the two boys, Kay, and the Wart. He is smart is he can tell the excellent workman and the bad one. He was naturing the leadership role of Arthur, the Wart. His leadership lessons were not as dramatic as for the tutor, Merlyn’s. The author is teaching us the importance of hard work in the context. We ought to be prepared to work hard and earn a good living. We learn to sympathetic and involved in the welfares of those around us, just like Sir Ector. The author also teaches us to be innately connected to the welfare of our companions. We also learn from the man how to be judicious enough to understand which among our workmen is good or bad. The quote concerns me because I also remember how I am keen on the welfare of my friends. The important thing about the context is that the father teaches the son things that will make him a valuable king.
“Power is of the individual mind, but the mind’s Power is not enough. Power of the body decides everything in the end, and only Might is Right.” (White, 48) The king said these words of the fish. They were in Ector’s Moat when the Wart was learning from his tutor Mr. Merlyn. He had transformed the Wart into a fish, and he was giving his view on the nature of power and leadership. He meant that Power should be sought and exercised as it represents value. The quote is significant because it helps the readers to understand the relationship between Might and Right.
“Also, it was different not having a father and mother, and Kay had taught him that being different was wrong. Nobody talked to him about it, but he thought about it when he was alone, and was distressed. He did not like people to bring it up. Since the other boy always did bring it up when a question of precedence arose, he had got into the habit of giving in at once before it could be mentioned. Besides, he admired Kay and was a born follower. He was a hero-worshipper.” (White, 14) These are the words of the narrator, the White. He was describing the character of Wart, the future king. Although he is not related to Kay by blood, the Wart seems very sensitive to his environment, and he is aware of his isolation. He describes him as a “born follower” and a “hero-worshipper.” He is willing to follow the guidance of his tutor, Merlyn. The quote teaches me how a person can be raised to be a king in a family in which he does not belong. It is important to note that Kay was the blood son of Sir Ector, but he was not chosen to be the future king. Anybody can be chosen to lead others, regardless of his background.
“They made me see that the world was beautiful if you were beautiful, and that you couldn’t get unless you gave. And you had to give without wanting to get.” (White, 303) Lancelot said these words as he prepared himself to realize his dream of receiving the Holy Grail. The significance of the quote is to guide us to make the right choices in life. We live a life of many options, just like the Lancelot. The only difference comes with the choices we make, as the wrong ones increase the guilt and disappointment. I learn to give without expecting to get back. I also understand the relationship between giving and receiving. The important thing about the narrator’s life is that he sounds religious and quotes some scriptures from religious books. Though not mentioned, some quotes are closely related to some quotes from religious books. Giving without expecting to get is a quote from the bible.
“My idea is that if we can win this battle in front of us, and get a firm hold of the country, then I will institute a sort of order of chivalry. I will not punish the bad knights, or hang Lot, but I will try to get them into our Order. We shall have to make it a great honor, you see, and make it fashionable and all that. Everybody must want to be in. And then I shall make the oath of that order that Might is only to be used for Right (White, 248).” These words were said by Arthur, admitting that the battle against Lot may bring evil. He tries to elaborate on how Might is replaced by Right in this context. I feel that the quote helps us learn to live with the wrong leaders, just like king Lot. The ward admits that the evil knights can be reformed. We should learn to accommodate others in our lives and give them a chance for a change. We learn to punish the bad people in society. The future king has declared not to punish the bad knights. He even sees the possibility of them reforming. I connect this to my life as I have seen many people being murdered for theft and other crimes. I learn the need to rehabilitate them and allow time for reformation.
“In war, our elders may give the orders…but it is the young who have to fight.” (White, 246) Here, the author, Mr. White, explains elders’ role in giving the orders and the young people perfecting them. The quote directs readers in following their elders. We ought to fight the battle as young stars and follow our elders’ orders to determine our victory on the battlefield. We also learn that as young people, we don’t do not get permission to give orders. We learn to allow our parents and tutors to give orders. Our duties as youths are to make sure we perfect the rules given. It concerns my life because I usually listen to my elders and do as they command.
“Education is experience, and the essence of experience is self-reliance.” (White, 46) Merlyn said these words in the process of guiding the Wart to become the next king. He teaches him the importance of being self-reliant. The quote helps us to understand the relationship between education and experience. We also understand that we should learn to rely on ourselves to reap much from our knowledge. Education is not obtained at once. It needs time and concentration to develop experience. I relate the quote to my personal life because I am guided by the principle that “excellency is not an act but a habit.” The two quotes mean the same, and they have the same importance in life. The important thing about living here is that they trust education.
“I know the sorrows before you, and the joys, and how there will never again be anybody who dares to call you by the friendly name of Wart. In future it will be your glorious doom to take up the burden and to enjoy the nobility of your proper title: so now I shall crave the privilege of being the very first of your subjects to address you with it—as my dear liege lord, King Arthur.” (White, 209) Merlyn said these words in the concluding passage. He abandoned the nickname the Wart and decided to address him more formally. Merlyn was guiding the young boy to become the future king. The quote is important as it helps me understand how a person can be made a leader, the same way Arthur is prepared to lead his accustomed family. I also understand the need to accept a good chance. The title is granted to the boy significant, and he is ready for it. I learn to humble myself. You should neglect your old friends when you get a new title. The Wart is still enjoying the company of Sir Ector and Kay just like before. He presents the same character to the end. This is related to my life as I don’t neglect others for whom they are. The important thing about the word being said is that they don’t discriminate against power. The Wart is an adopted child, but he is prepared to become King Arthur and lead the whole community.
White, Terence Hanbury. The once and future king. Penguin, 2011.