Let the Great World Spin

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Lara’s husband and driver of the car that hits Corrigan’s van. Having garnered attention and praise for his artwork, he is greatly motivated by recognition and praise. He is especially taken by drugs, despite the fact that he and Lara are supposedly trying to live a sober lifestyle. Unlike his wife, he fails to see the point of feeling remorseful about having fled the accident on the FDR.

Blaine Quotes in Let the Great World Spin

The Let the Great World Spin quotes below are all either spoken by Blaine or refer to Blaine. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Political Unrest Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Random House edition of Let the Great World Spin published in 2009.
Book One, Chapter 3: A Fear of Love Quotes

The moment he turned to check the front of the car I recall thinking that we’d never survive it, not so much the crash, or even the death of the young girl—she was so obviously dead, in a bloodied heap on the road—or the man who was slapped against the steering wheel, almost certainly ruined, his chest jammed up against the dashboard, but the fact that Blaine went around to check on the damage that was done to our car, the smashed headlight, the crumpled fender, like our years together, something broken, while behind us we could hear the sirens already on their way, and he let out a little groan of despair, and I knew it was for the car, and our unsold canvases, and what would happen to us shortly, and I said to him: Come on, let’s go, quick, get in, Blaine, quick, get a move on.

Related Characters: Lara Liveman (speaker), John Andrew Corrigan (“Corrigan”), Jazzlyn Henderson, Blaine
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:

Lara reveals that, immediately after hitting Corrigan’s van, she knew her relationship with Blaine was doomed. Blaine’s concern about the car—“the smashed headlight, the crumpled fender”—is indicative of his obsession with all that is superficial. He is unable empathize with others, unable to look beyond the things that directly affect him. Lara recognizes this after the crash, and it is clear that this is perhaps the first time she is able to articulate to herself that she and Blaine are ill-suited for one another, as they clearly have opposing values. It is strange, then, that she ushers him along by telling him to get back in the car in order to flee the scene of the accident. This ultimately speaks to her own fear and guilt, but also her empathetic capacity, for in this moment she finds herself sympathizing with Blaine’s fear—his “little groan of despair” for “what would happen to [them] shortly”—while simultaneously disagreeing with him.

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Blaine Character Timeline in Let the Great World Spin

The timeline below shows where the character Blaine appears in Let the Great World Spin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book One, Chapter 3: A Fear of Love
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Lara Liveman and her husband Blaine are driving out of New York City on the FDR Drive. Blaine, who is driving,... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
The van spins out and hits a newspaper truck, but Lara and Blaine’s car moves steadily forward without harm. Looking over his shoulder for an instant, Blaine presses... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Lara has the clear thought that this crash will destroy her relationship with Blaine, perhaps most of all because of the fact that he seems more concerned with the... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
At this point we learn that Lara and Blaine have for the past year been living outside the city in a small cabin on... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Upon returning to the cabin, Blaine puts the car in a shed and sweeps the tracks out of the dirt. Then... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Lara awakes early the next day and steps outside without waking Blaine. She sees that they forgot to take the paintings inside the night before, and now... (full context)
Political Unrest Theme Icon
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
...something else to Lara’s mind: she remembers a boy she’d been in love with before Blaine. He went to Vietnam and came back in a wheelchair. To her surprise, though, he... (full context)
Political Unrest Theme Icon
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Outside the diner, Blaine pulls up in the car. He joins Lara at her table and tells her that... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
...reason for coming to the city had been to buy a video camera to document Blaine’s new painting series, but now she finds herself driving toward the Bronx. When she arrives,... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
When Lara arrives home later that night, she goes swimming in the lake while Blaine waits for her on the dock. Back in the cabin, he tries to get her... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
...the bar, Lara saw a kid spray-painting a bridge, and this made her think of Blaine’s work. At the bar they talked about Corrigan, and at one point Lara confessed that... (full context)