“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”
In this quote, Quentin is talking to Margo and the motif of cracks becomes present once more in the novel. Cracks are a crucial element to the novel, because they help illustrate the difference between what's inside of someone versus what's outside. As mentioned in the quote, many times what is seen of a person is often just what's on the outside, or what idea we create of that person. Without truly seeing what's inside, our opinions of people are based on just that: our ideas. Maybe this is why an individual can have people who love and hate them at the same time, because that love and hate is simply based on an idea and nothing more. Most people tend to have some sort of shell guarding them from their surroundings, like an egg. On the outside and egg is smooth and flawless and perfect. But once those cracks appear, once people get to see what's inside, that's when the ideas of the egg completely change. Before the egg was flawless and whole, but now people can see the ooey-gooey mess of what's on the inside and can truly make an accurate idea of the egg. These cracks are crucial in creating proper judgements of someone. This is very cliché to say, but you never know what's going on inside of someone, and any sort of idea made about them will probably be false. It's not until you see that mess of what's inside that an idea can be made. This quote is extremely relatable to most people, including myself. Nearly everyone put's on a protective facade and shell in hopes of appearing flawless and whole. Here's the thing though, no one is flawless and whole. Everyone has things they struggle with, and the only way we can see that is through their cracks. I speak from my own personal experience. I'm a mess. The amount of mess I have inside of me is insane actually, and I have an extremely tough shell in place so no one can see that ickyness. It's only the few people I'm closest to that see those cracks. I love this quote because of how relatable it is to my life and many others. It's important to remind ourselves that often times, our ideas about someone are false. And we can't judge until we know the full story.