Top 08 Quotations in the Extract ‘Wave’ by Sonali Deraniyagala


These quotations are extracted from the extract prescribed for G.C.E. Ordinary level exam from the novel The Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala. It shows the poignant life experience faced by the author. This extract reveals how she and her family were caught amid of Tsunami waves and how they plodded over that horrendous period of time. For academic purposes, these are the possible top quotations which might come under the themes of how human act in a panic situation, mother’s love, mothers’ protective instinct towards her kids.

Quote 01

It didn’t seem that remarkable. Or alarming. It was only the white curl of a big wave. / “Come out, Steve, I want to show you something odd.” I didn’t want him to miss this. I wanted him to come out quick before all this foam dissolved.


Ignorance about the forthcoming disaster. She could not foresee the destructive nature of a Tsunami wave. At the time Tsunami struck the coastlines of Sri Lanka, most of the Sri Lankan had never heard about it. That was the cause behind the huge loss of human lives. 


Quote 02

I grabbed Vik and Malli, and we all ran out the front door. I was ahead of Steve. I held the boys each by hand. “Give me one of them. Give me one of them,” Steve shouted, reaching out. But I didn’t. That would have slowed us down. We had no time. We had to be fast. I knew that. But I didn’t know that I was fleeing from.


Mother’s protective instincts shown. In a possible danger, mother gives priority to the protection to her kids. In such kind of a situation, she trusts no one. Other fact is, in the face of danger, the natural human instinct is fleeing away from it as fast as possible. Sometimes, when there is a faceless danger, human beings have the subconscious sense called- third instinct to predict an oncoming threat, in such times, they act accordingly to be safe.


Quote 03

I didn’t stop for my parents, I didn’t stop to knock on the door of my parents’ room, which was next ours, on the right as we ran out. I didn’t shout to warn them. I didn’t bang on their door and call them out. As I ran past, for a splintered second, I wondered if I should. But I couldn’t stop. It will stall us. We must keep running.


Again mother’s priority to her kids shown, mother keeps the protection of her kids above all, even her life itself. That does not mean she does not love others. She gives priority to keep her kids safe. Here, in a confessional tone, she revels of her being unable to notify her parents about the disaster, which was a simple tap of the door but she feared that split of second might delay their fleeing. It is not selfishness, that is how human hormones act in a disastrous situation, when it comes to a mother, it is instinctive to give priority to her kids’ safety.


Quote 04

They were barefoot, but they didn’t slow down because stones or thorns were hurting them. They didn’t say a word.


In a disastrous or panic situation focus is on safety, hormones work accordingly to give priority to the safety focus not pain. That is why they do not feel any pain. That is how human body works. When fear throttles people, they usually become mute, voice become suffocated -making them unable to speak.  


Quote 05

Anton leaned out the back to reach Beulah and drag her up. When he couldn’t, he jumped out. They were both lying on the gravel now, but I didn’t call out to the driver to wait for them. He was driving very fast. He’s right, I thought, we have to keep moving.


Different layers of love shown, but the focus is the same - love for the family. Anton jumps out of the jeep to rescue Beulah which shows the depth of their love and relationship. Sonali nor others opting not to rescue them again shows that they gave the priority to the protection of their families, if the jeep stops, it would stall them making their loved ones at a life thereat – though they have no idea what they are fleeing from, that is how people work naturally in a panic situation.


Quote 06

We were leaving my parents behind. I panicked now. If I had screamed at their door as we ran out, they could have run with us. “We didn’t get Aachchi and seeya,” I yelled to Steve.


Feeling of guilt shown. When Sonali comes to the normal sense, when she feels they are out of danger, she feels what should have been done but it is too late now. That is the nature of sudden decision making, in a panic situation it is no time to think rationally, sometimes it leaves a feeling of guilt at the end.


Quote 07

Then I saw Steve’s face. I’d never seen him like that before. A sudden look of terror, eyes wide open, mouth agape. He saw something behind me that I couldn’t see. I didn’t have time to turn around and look.


The magnitude of danger is shown, Steve must have seen the second wave of Tsunami, which had been huge, when someone sees the possible death upon them, it reflects on their face, the horror- the face of death.


Quote 08

Pain. That was all I could feel. Where am I? Something was crushing my chest. I am trapped under the jeep, I thought, I am being flattened by it. I tried to push it away. I wanted to wriggle out.


The real feeling of a person who is caught to a Tsunami is shown in Sonali’s own words. The real explanation shows the pain, suffering rendered by the deadly force of water. The reader can feel the suffocating feeling under water thrashed by debris floating in water. 


You may find more possible best quotations to make this a ten. Can you leave them on the comment section? Share the post if you find it useful to others.

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