"He liked to be liked by the world, which made his abuse even harder to deal with. Because if you think someone is a monster and the whole world says he's a saint, you begin to think that you're the bad person. It must be my fault this is happening is the only conclusion you can draw, because why are you the only one receiving his wrath?" 

This quotation, which appears in Chapter 18, reflects the complexity of Trevor’s relationship with Abel and his inability to comprehend his seemingly paradoxical behavior. The almost dual nature of Abel’s character makes him particularly dangerous as he draws people in with acts of generosity before inevitably hurting them. Trevor’s assessment that Abel “like[s] to be liked by the world” emphasizes his self-absorbed nature, implying that any of his outward displays of kindness are selfishly motivated.

"If there was any doubt about Abel, the truth was right there in front of us all along, in his name. He was Abel, the good brother, the good son, a name straight out of the Bible…But Abel was his English name. His Tsonga name was Ngisaveni. It means 'Be afraid.'"

Noah comments on the coincidental symbolism of both Abel’s English name and his Tsonga name in Chapter 18, and this discussion emphasizes the internal darkness that Abel harbors underneath his more altruistic public persona. Based on the very traditional way he practices his Tsonga culture after he marries Patricia, that part of his identity seems more reflective of who he truly is in comparison to his English name. This dynamic foreshadows the way in which his frightening behavior will overpower his goodness.

"That was the turning point. When my mother started making more money and getting her independence back - that's when we saw the dragon emerge. The drinking got worse. He grew more and more violent." 

This quotation from Chapter 18 reveals the beginning of Abel’s full descent into violence and hints at his motivation for choosing a path of destruction. Noah notes that Abel grows more and more dangerous once Patricia regains and develops her sense of agency, and this shift suggests that he feels threatened by his wife’s increasing power. Given that his Tsonga culture is highly patriarchal, Abel seems motivated to reclaim his position as the dominant figure in their family, and the only way he knows how to do so is through drunken acts of violence.