Cloud 9

Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

But if there isn't a right way to do things you have to invent one.

With this quote, in Act II, Scene four, Betty indicates a new understanding of her place in the world. She acknowledges that present life is not always governed by tradition. Betty explains why Clive cannot be present in the second act. His devotion to tradition makes him incapable of "inventing" new ways to "do things." Betty asserts the right to establish new sexual relationships to suit one's needs and desires.

Betty speaks these words to Gerry, the character who, more than any other, represents freedom from sexual parameters. Gerry does as he wishes with whomever he chooses. Betty, though not as free from the past as Gerry, has "invented" a way to satisfy herself through masturbation. In this quote, Betty does not dismiss the lessons of the past, but merely accepts the fact that times change and that people, even those as old as Betty, must be flexible enough to change with them. Indeed, London of 1979 is so far from Victorian Africa that many new ways to "do things" must be "invented."