Crewel Quotes and Analysis

"This isn’t me.”

“It is now.”

Adelice and Enora, p. 68

After receiving her first makeover at the Coventry, Adelice feels as if she's in someone else's body. She doesn't recognize the image of the bright and beautiful young woman before her. Lovingly, yet bluntly, Enora reminds Adelice that the Spinster life, the glamorous life, the life of eternal beauty, is, in fact, her life now. This is one of the first times Adelice confronts her new identity as an Eligible.

“Wild creatures are happy enough if they don’t know they’re being kept in a cage.”

Adelice, p. 81

Adelice discovers that the windows in the Coventry look out on an artificial scene, but she doesn't realize she's the only one to notice this fact until she mentions it during Erik's tour of the Coventry. She quickly recants in order to preserve the illusion that Spinsters actually have a view to the outside world, understanding that, so long as the Eligibles and Spinsters believe they are free, they're less likely to notice their chains. This quote marks one of the first times Adelice learns the truth about the Guild and begins to understand the depth of their deception, as well as the motivation behind it.

“Day by day, I am remade into someone else, and I wonder if age will ever leave her tracks on my face. I’m sixteen now and I will be almost flawless forever. That thought helps me fall asleep at night, secure in my place here, but it also wakes me up trembling with nightmares.”

Adelice, p. 132

Adelice has begun to settle in at the Coventry, and as she does, she grows into a different person than the girl she once was in Romen. Her aestheticians groom her and make her fit the mold of a glamorous Spinster. In a way, Adelice is comforted by her new identity and the assurances it brings. However, as she learns more about the expectations of a Spinster and the system Spinsters help to perpetuate, that security becomes fear -- fear that she will either succumb to the Guild's influence or be conquered by it.

"I am silent with awe, finally understanding her significance now. With the ripped strand from earlier resting in my palm, I feel in even greater contrast to the woman sitting beside me. She is life. I am death.”

Adelice, p. 179

During their first Crewel training session, Loricel guides Adelice through a ripping, the very process Adelice declined to complete the day Maela destroyed the Cypress Academy. Afterward, Loricel demonstrates how to bring life into the tapestry, by weaving a river into a small village. The weight of all the lives lost on her account crushes Adelice, and she realizes that her own choices cost several other people their lives. At that moment, she sees Loricel as her opposite -- one who grants life instead of taking it away.

“I erase and rebuild the world in my sleep, and in the morning I try to remember how to rebuild myself.”

Adelice, p. 222

After being punished by Maela for kissing Erik, Adelice begins to have dreams about her loved ones disappearing. In dreams, she imagines how to erase some of the recent tragedies. In waking, she imagines how to do the same with herself. This quote illustrates the extent to which the well-being of those around her is in tension with Adelice's own desires. She cannot both escape Arras and rescue her sister, nor can she stand up to the Guild and also protect Enora from its retaliation. In order to save herself, she must sacrifice others, or else she must sacrifice herself so that all of them may live.

“The truth has a way of changing to suit the purpose of those in charge.”

Loricel, p. 243

Loricel explains that there are people alive on Arras who know about Earth but pretend to be ignorant of it. Part of this is because the Guild thrives on controlling its people, including their knowledge. In her training with Loricel, Adelice learns that there is no absolute truth in Arras, only the convenient truths that the Guild promotes in order to maintain its hold on power.

“How do you close opened eyes?”

Adelice, p. 286

Adelice asks Loricel how it is that she resists exploring the threads that make up Earth. Adelice's curiosity is almost uncontrollable when she gets near the threads of Earth, and she can't imagine why Loricel would choose not to explore the unchartered land. Indeed, it is in the upper studios that Adelice's eyes truly open to the world beyond Arras and, unlike Loricel, she is not able to easily close them -- which is perhaps why she chooses to escape to Earth instead of serving as Arras' Creweler.

“Remembrance is never useless.”

Adelice, p. 294

As Loricel explains the positive side of Arras' collective forgetting of Earth, Adelice reasserts her belief in the power of memory. Like the reminder her father imprinted on her wrist, Adelice is fighting to keep hold of her own memories and sense of identity. To forget those things would leave her vulnerable to being remade by the Guild. Just as there is value in remembering her mother and father, so too does Adelice believe that there could be some value in allowing the people of Arras to remember Earth.

“The thread hanging on the end of my hook was the starting place for so many of the other threads. Its loss affects them all. But I feel nothing. I wait for tears or vomit to burn up my throat, but there’s nothing but numbness.”

Adelice, 177

After performing a removal request and ripping a person's thread, Adelice is shocked to feel numb. She understands that the loss has a great effect on the humans in that section of the thread, yet she remains unmoved. After enduring so much loss during her time at the Coventry, it's as though Adelice has become hardened to even the most brutal of Spinster duties.

"If there's one thing the Coventry has taught me, it's that lying always serves someone's purpose."

Adelice, 247

Loricel's predecessor once told her that Earth was uninhabited. When Adelice asks whether she is sure about the truth of that claim, Loricel states that there was no reason for her mentor to lie. However, having uncovered the value of deception in her recent experiences at the Coventry, Adelice questions whether Earth is truly the barren land the Guild would like people to believe it is. This marks one of the first times that Adelice, the student, surpasses her teacher, Loricel, in anticipating the truth behind the Guild's carefully constructed lies.