The boy did not remember his age. He knew he had lived a long, long time.
This quote appears in chapter 6, when the boy begins working. The quote is representative of many aspects of the boy's life—first, that he honestly does not know how old he is. Most children know few things if they do not know their own age. Most children have birthday parties, cakes, and presents. The boy has none of those luxuries and does not even know when his birthday is or how many birthdays he has had. The quote also demonstrates how difficult the boy's life has been. Even though he is a boy and has not actually lived many years, it feels as if he has. The hardships he has experienced and endured are not those of a young boy, but those of a man. The boy feels old at a young age, which is indicative of the fact that he has not had much of a childhood. Childhood is usually associated with simplicity, innocence, and joy, but the boy has had a life sadly lacking in those qualities.