“… as far as I [Theo] knew, the thought of selling the changelings [“cannibalized and heavily altered pieces”] for originals or indeed of selling them at all had never crossed Hobie’s mind; and his complete lack of interest in goings-on in the store gave me considerable freedom to set about the business of raising cash and taking care of bills. … I did not for one instant doubt Hobie’s astonishment if he learned I was selling his changelings for real.” p. 453, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
You can’t help feel sympathetic toward Theo Decker, the protagonist of The Goldfinch. Death of his mother at age of 13, left with a father who is better dead than alive, becoming an orphan at age of 15, how unfortunate can one become?
You would expect Theo to be grateful when he appeared at Hobie’s door like a homeless boy and was accepted totally unconditionally by such a kind fatherly figure. You would expect him to be totally honest to such a man, at least not to cheat him by selling changelings for originals. Theo does it even though he knows it is wrong.
Why does he do it? I have tried to find excuses for his actions. None holds water, except the fact that he inherits this trait from his father who tries to swindle money from his own son.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Isn’t this what the author implies?
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