Cake

Five-Dollar Note Symbol Analysis

Five-Dollar Note Symbol Icon

The five-dollar note that Liz takes out of her purse symbolizes the towering costs of capitalism. When Liz is asked to contribute money to the office morning tea, a celebration of important occasions like birthdays and returns from maternity leave, she takes a five-dollar note from her wallet and tries not to look at the photograph of Daniel, with his “smile like a booby trap.” The proximity of the money and the picture symbolizes the personal and financial costs of capitalism—Liz is contributing her own money to a work event and is sacrificing time she could be spending with her child in the process.

Five-Dollar Note Quotes in Cake

The Cake quotes below all refer to the symbol of Five-Dollar Note. 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:
Guilt Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribe edition of Cake published in 2012.
Cake Quotes

Liz fishes out her wallet and finds a five-dollar note, snaps it shut before she has to look at the photo of Daniel tucked in there. His shy smile like a boobytrap. He’d have his thumb in his mouth right not. Not smiling, that’s for sure.

Related Characters: Liz, Daniel, Julie, Stella, and Caroline
Related Symbols: Five-Dollar Note
Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:
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Five-Dollar Note Symbol Timeline in Cake

The timeline below shows where the symbol Five-Dollar Note appears in Cake. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Cake
Guilt Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
Expectations vs. Reality Theme Icon
Liz is asked to contribute money for the celebratory morning tea. She takes a five-dollar note out of her purse and wills herself not to look at the photo of Daniel... (full context)