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On the Beach

  • Study Guide
Quotes

Important Quotes Explained

Quotes Important Quotes Explained

"But no wind does blow down right into the Southern Hemisphere from the Northern Hemisphere. If it did we'd all be dead right now."

"I wish we were," she said bitterly. "It's like waiting to be hung."

"Maybe it is. Or maybe it's a period of grace."

This conversation between Dwight and Moira takes place after the party in Chapter One. Dwight's comment about having a "period of grace" foreshadows the change that will take place in Moira. In this scene, and in most of the beginning of the book, she is drinking and despairing over her fate. Through her friendship with Dwight and her growing love for him, Moira begins to use her time left to better herself by taking secretarial courses and stop drinking as much. The concept of a "period of grace" has religious overtones and implies an opportunity for a spiritual transformation. Although the novel never delves deeply into religion, Moira does begin to attend church, something she has not done for a very long time.