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The Plains of Passage

Jean M. Auel

Top 10 Best Quotes

“The other mammoths were as protective of the dying as they were of newborns, and they gathered around tying to make the fallen one get up. When all was over, they buried the dead ancestor under piles of dirt, grass, leaves, or snow. Mammoths were even known to bury other dead animals, including humans.”

“When all was over, they buried the dead ancestor under piles of dirt, grass, leaves, or snow. Mammoths were even known to bury other dead animals, including humans.”

“The figure, made by the woman standing in front of him, had not been manufactured by modifying—carving or shaping or polishing—a material that occurred naturally. It was made of ceramic, fired clay, and it was the first material ever created by human hand and human intelligence. The heating chamber was not a cooking oven, it was a kiln. And the first kiln ever devised was not invented for the purpose of making useful waterproof containers. Long before pottery, small ceramic sculptures were fired into impermeable hardness. The figures they had seen on the shelves resembled animals and humans, but the images of women—no men were made, only women—and other living creatures were not considered actual portrayals. They were symbols, metaphors, meant to represent more than they showed, to suggest an analogy, a spiritual similarity. They were art; art came before utility.”

“In a world so empty of human life, there was comfort in the thought that an invisible realm of spirits was aware of their existence, cared about their actions, and perhaps directed their steps. Even a stern or inimical spirit who cared enough to demand certain actions of appeasement was better than the heartless disregard of a harsh and indifferent world, in which their lives were entirely in their own hands, with no one else to turn to in time of need, not even in their thoughts.”

“But why should they blame her? They should blame the men who won’t let her alone,”

“At a bend in the river, an upland stream fell into the Middle Mother, which itself came from higher ground. The marrow-chilling air had caught and stilled the waters in the act of falling, and the strong dry winds had sculpted them into strange and grotesque shapes. Caricatures of living creatures captured by frost, poised to begin a headlong flight down the course of the long river, seemed to be waiting impatiently, as if knowing the turning of the season, and their release, was not far off.”

“much adapt to the environment as alter the environment”

“To the north of them the great continental glacier had dipped southward, as though straining to encompass the beautiful icy mountains within its overwhelming frozen embrace. They were in the most frigid land on earth, between the glistening mountain tors and the immense northern ice, and it was the depths of winter. The air itself was sucked dry by the moisture-stealing glaciers greedily usurping every drop to increase their bloated, bedrock-crushing mass, building up reserves to withstand the onslaught of summer heat. The battle between glacial cold and melting warmth for control of the Great Mother Earth was almost at a standstill, but the tide was turning; the glacier was gaining. It would make one more advance, and reach its farthest southward point, before it was beaten back to polar lands. But even there, it would only bide its time.”

“The men compete in what they do; the women in what they make,’ she said, then smiled, ‘including babies, though that is a very subtle competition, and nearly everyone thinks she is the winner.”

“She realized how much she had missed the company of friendly people who behaved in a normal way.”

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Book Keywords:

death, animals, touching, spiritual

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