Before I Fall

by

Lauren Oliver

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Anna Cartullo Character Analysis

A junior at Thomas Jefferson who is both outcast and well-known for her promiscuity and her “white trash” background. At the start of the novel, Anna is having an affair with a fellow student, Alex Liment, who is already attached to a girl named Bridget McGuire, and this behavior makes her an object of Lindsay and Sam’s derision and cruelty. On day five of the time loop, Sam—fed up with her inability to change her fate and determined to behave as recklessly and uncharacteristically as possible—finds herself in a bathroom with Anna Cartullo, and the two share a spliff and bond over the cruel, arbitrary hatreds and divisions that crisscross the social stratosphere over their high school.

Anna Cartullo Quotes in Before I Fall

The Before I Fall quotes below are all either spoken by Anna Cartullo or refer to Anna Cartullo. 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:
Fate vs. Agency Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of Before I Fall published in 2010.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Anna’s face gets serious, and she takes a long pull of the joint, then stares at me through the cloud of blue smoke.

“So,” she says, “why do you guys hate me?”

Of all the things I expect her to say, it’s not this. Even more unexpected, she holds the spliff out in my direction, offering me some. I hesitate for only a second. Hey, just because I’m dead doesn’t mean I’m a saint.

“We don’t hate you.” It doesn’t come out convincingly. The truth is I’m not sure. I don’t hate Anna, really; Lindsay’s always said she does, but it’s hard to know what Lindsay’s reasons are for anything. […]

“Then what’s the reason?” She doesn’t say, For all the shitty things you’ve done. For the bathroom graffiti. For the fake email blast sophomore year: Anna Cartullo has chlamydia. She doesn’t have to. She passes the joint back to me. I take another hit. […] “I don’t know.” Because it’s easy. “I guess you need to take things out on somebody. The words are out of my mouth before I realize they’re true.

Related Characters: Samantha Kingston (speaker), Anna Cartullo (speaker), Lindsay Edgecombe
Page Number: 217-218
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It’s never occurred to me before; I’ve never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different. Maybe Lindsay and I are best friends and he hate each other, both. Maybe I’m only one math class away from being a slut like Anna Cartullo. Maybe I am like her, deep down. Maybe we all are: just one lunch period away from eating alone in the bathroom. I wonder if it’s ever really possible to know the truth about someone else, or if the best we can do is just stumble into each other, heads down, hoping to avoid collision.

Related Characters: Samantha Kingston (speaker), Lindsay Edgecombe, Anna Cartullo
Page Number: 285-286
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

In my head I've been saying good-bye to everything, all these places I’ve seen so often I start to ignore them: the deli on the hill with perfect chicken cutlets and the trinket store where I used to buy thread to make friendship bracelets and the Realtor’s and the dentist's and the little garden where Steve King put his tongue in my mouth in seventh grade, and I was so surprised I bit down. I can't stop thinking about how strange life is, about Kent and Juliet and even Alex and Anna and Bridget and Mr. Shaw and Ms. Winters—about how complex and connected everything is, all threaded together like some vast, invisible netting—and how sometimes you can think you're doing the right thing, but it's actually terrible and vice versa.

Page Number: 424
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Before I Fall LitChart as a printable PDF.
Before I Fall PDF

Anna Cartullo Character Timeline in Before I Fall

The timeline below shows where the character Anna Cartullo appears in Before I Fall. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
...Sam and Lindsay pass the restaurant they spot two of their classmates inside—Alex Liment and Anna Cartullo. Both girls know (as does the whole school) that Alex has been cheating on... (full context)
Fate vs. Agency Theme Icon
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Lindsay drags Sam inside the restaurant and goes up to Anna and Alex’s table. She is sort of friends with Alex, though Sam hardly ever talks... (full context)
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
...treats on the way back to school. Once they get back to campus, they see Anna and Alex arguing near the smokers’ area while Alex smokes a cigarette—Lindsay smokes a quick... (full context)
Fate vs. Agency Theme Icon
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
...the tub—Lindsay tells Sam that Bridget dumped Alex Liment after Ms. Winters caught him and Anna Cartullo together, smoking near the tennis courts. (full context)
Chapter 2 
Fate vs. Agency Theme Icon
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
...opens the stall door and asks Ally why she thinks Lindsay wrote mean graffiti about Anna Cartullo in the stall—Ally says, though, that there are now “copycat artists” imitating the graffiti... (full context)
Fate vs. Agency Theme Icon
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Rebirth, Renewal, and Redemption Theme Icon
...doctor, as she and Lindsay saw him, once again, sitting in the Chinese restaurant with Anna Cartullo when they cut class to get ice cream. Today, however, Lindsay hadn’t gone inside... (full context)
Chapter 4
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
...old bathroom at the far end of the science wing, where there’s hardly ever anyone. Anna Cartullo is in the bathroom, though, smoking a cigarette. Anna asks Sam not to tell... (full context)
Fate vs. Agency Theme Icon
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Anna asks Sam if her high heels are hard to walk in. Sam insists she can... (full context)
Fate vs. Agency Theme Icon
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Anna and Sam smoke the joint together, and Anna asks Sam why Sam and all her... (full context)
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
The bell rings, and Anna jumps up, exclaiming that she has somewhere to be. She knocks over her stash of... (full context)
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Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Sam tells Anna that she’s too good for Alex, and Anna jokingly replies that Sam is too good... (full context)
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
...she looks hot, and offers her a beer. He notices that Sam is still wearing Anna Cartullo’s shoes—he tells her they don’t look like her, and Sam retorts that Rob doesn’t... (full context)
Chapter 5
Fate vs. Agency Theme Icon
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
...time, and maybe Sam is just one flirtation away from being branded a slut, like Anna Cartullo. Sam realizes that everyone in her school is just one mistake away from eating... (full context)
Chapter 6
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Rebirth, Renewal, and Redemption Theme Icon
...to fix her makeup. Inside, she overhears some sophomore girls talking about what a “slut” Anna Cartullo is. Sam tells the girls that they shouldn’t believe everything they hear—she warns them... (full context)
Chapter 7
Fate vs. Agency Theme Icon
Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Rebirth, Renewal, and Redemption Theme Icon
...a big deal. Not wanting to spook Lindsay more, but needing to give something to Anna Cartullo, Sam apologizes and ducks into the Chinese restaurant next to the yogurt shop. (full context)
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Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
Rebirth, Renewal, and Redemption Theme Icon
Sam greets Anna and tells her she has something for her—she gives her a book of M.C. Escher... (full context)