Written by AVI
Explanation: This if the very first sentence of the story. It pretty much explains Tom's family and his situation. His family is very poor and Tom's father has died because of the war. Tom is going to have to get a job to help support his family. This is how he ends up at the shipyard a little later in the story. The second part of the quote explains how Tom might have to grow up a little early. He will more than likely be "the man of the house."
- "Ericsson bragged to me that it she was like no ship ever built."
Explanation: This quote is very important to the story. It makes the reader wonder what Ericsson is building. Throughout the story Ericsson receives a lot of criticism for building a ship that is completely made of iron. This makes a lot of people doubt him. At first Tom doesn't think it will float either but later he tries to understand what Ericsson is thinking. He learns about water displacement and how a ship does float. Later on Tom does understand that the ship will float.
- "In fact, I almost wished the Monitor would sink."
Explanation: On the day of the launch Tom was so nervous. He was afraid of seeing Mr. Quinn. He was also afraid that the Monitor would sink even though he was confident. Mr. Quinn was a Rebel spy who was paying Tom for information on the Monitor. Even though he refused to tell Mr. Quinn he was afraid he would kill Tom.