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Altering Environments and Dynamic Identities

bgenaro's picture

All Over Creation notes

  • Yumi feeling like an “exotic plant” in her home because she is different than everyone else
  • The environment controlling the way the characters feel or to the extent they succeed
  • The sharp contrast between the tropical environment where Yumi moves to and the vast environment of her hometown.
  • The altering environments can have different effects on different people depending on where they are from and what their priorities are.


“The wondrous thing about nature, her gift to us, is her wanton promiscuity. She reproduces herself with abandon, with teeming, infinite generosity. The first knuckle-dragging humanoid to realize this became the world’s first farmer, and all the farmers who came after for thousands of years knew this, too. They saved seeds from their harvest, planted them, harvested them, and so it went, on and on, in a perfect, perpetually interconnected wheel of life. Until now.” Pg. 227

 “In Hawaii, near where I live, there’s a place where you can walk right out onto an active lava flow. You’re not supposed to, but you can. It’s flowing right down from a volcano, and the crust is so hot you can feel it burning through the rubber of your soles. If you go at night and look down, you can see cracks in the black crust and the red-hot molten lava flowing underneath, just inches from your feet. And you know that if you take a wrong step where the crust is too thin, your foot will go right through and that’ll be the end of it.” Pg. 226

“The following day, on the flight out of Pocatello, he watched the relentless geometries of the agricultural landscape recede below. It was beautiful, in a bleak, flattened sort of way. The farmers had been worried about the winds, but that didn’t concern his jurisdiction.” Pg. 229


“The snow underfoot made a sound like a chalk on a blackboard. It had iced over during the day, but that morning it had still been fresh and soft. When Ocean woke, she was enchanted. She ran to the window and announced her immediate intention to go outside and play, but I caught her at the door. She was a tropical child, with no understanding of the bitterness of cold.” Pg. 81

“Momoko smiled politely, then bent her head and rattled a pod. The seeds bounced across the turquoise surface like fleas. She tipped the tray, and hundreds, maybe thousands, of seeds massed and rolled together like something spreading and alive.” Pg. 69

“It’s just winter. Things start growing in the spring.” Pg. 63

“It was safe there at the crossroads. The fields spread out in all directions, as far as the eye could see, some dark green with potatoes, some light green with wheat. There was nobody around, and if someone did show up, you could see them coming from miles by the dust they raised.” Pg. 8

“Honestly, I never liked potatoes much. I preferred rice, a taste I inherited from my mother, Momoko, and which, in a state of spuds, was tantamount to reason.” Pg. 4

“That’s what it felt like when I was growing up, like I was a random fruit in a field of genetically identical potatoes.” Pg. 4 


aclark1's picture

I love the quotes! Are the bullet point some of the key points to support your claim? What are you trying to say about the different enviornments on Yumi as a person? How are they impacting her? What does the quotes say to you about Yumi and her mother?