Girl in Translation

Curt is the only boy at Harrison Prep that Kim seriously dates. When Kim begins at Harrison, Curt goes along with Greg's bullying, though he begins to come around in high school when Kim agrees to help him fix his grades after an injury. This leads eventually to tutoring sessions and later, a romance. Many of their tutoring sessions take place in the art room, where Curt spends as much time as possible carving polished abstract wooden sculptures. Though Curt and Kim very much enjoy kissing each other, Kim knows from the start that their relationship won't go anywhere: Curt has no idea what it's like to be poor, is callous and unfeeling when he talks about lower class people he encounters, and he's unable to recognize his own privilege as a wealthy kid from the suburbs. Kim and Curt break up when Mrs. Wu dies and Kim and Matt profess their love for each other, though Curt is later the first person Kim tells about her pregnancy. Kim realizes how good of friends they are when he offers seriously to marry her, though she turns him down. He goes on to attend the Rhode Island School of Design.

Curt Quotes in Girl in Translation

The Girl in Translation quotes below are all either spoken by Curt or refer to Curt. 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:
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Riverhead edition of Girl in Translation published in 2010.
Twelve Quotes

I was just a poor girl whose main practical skill was bagging skirts faster than normal […] I was good at school but so were many of the other kids, most of whom had been groomed since birth to get into the right college. No matter how well I did in my classes or how well I managed to fake belonging to the cool circle, I knew I was not one of them.

Related Characters: Kim (speaker), Annette, Curt, Dr. Weston
Page Number: 247
Explanation and Analysis:
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I didn't say anything more, but I thought about the fathers and brothers of the kids at the factory who worked as waiters […] What would they have done if they'd had to pay for such an expensive meal out of their tips? Many of them weren't paid anything but their tips […] Curt had no comprehension of what it was like to be working class.

Related Characters: Kim (speaker), Curt
Page Number: 249
Explanation and Analysis:
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Curt Character Timeline in Girl in Translation

The timeline below shows where the character Curt appears in Girl in Translation. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Seven
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
...the names of several classmates: the bully's name is Greg, his partner in crime is Curt, the popular girl's name is Sheryl, and the Indian girl is Tammy. (full context)
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Work vs. Education Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...she wanted to be liked badly enough to pick up a note during a test. Curt knocks on the door, enters, and tells the adults that he saw Kim pick up... (full context)
Eight
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
In the hallway, Curt explains that he heard Sheryl give Tammy the idea to put the notes in her... (full context)
Work vs. Education Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...might not be able to understand the English. As she walks out of the office, Curt asks Kim if she's okay. Both Kim and Sheryl are surprised he spoke to her. (full context)
Ten
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Curt breaks a leg skiing right after Kim turns sixteen. They haven't spoken at all since... (full context)
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Work vs. Education Theme Icon
Kim begins tutoring Curt once per week, which she's initially happy to do. However, as Curt's grades recover, he... (full context)
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Work vs. Education Theme Icon
Curt makes polished woodcarvings, all of which are abstract. Kim studies one that looks almost like... (full context)
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Curt asks about her phrasing, and Kim asks if Curt's parents don't talk that way. He... (full context)
Eleven
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Family, Choices, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Kim continues to tutor Curt for the upcoming SATs. One afternoon, she sits in the studio with him while he... (full context)
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Annette at the theater and tells her about the party. Annette believes that Kim likes Curt, but frowns and asks why she never comes to her parties. Kim understands she's a... (full context)
Family, Choices, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
On the evening of Curt's party, Kim goes to Annette's house. She greets Mrs. Avery warmly and Annette lets Kim... (full context)
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...music. As Kim spins, she feels like a real American teenager. After a few minutes, Curt leads Kim to his bedroom. A group of kids, including Sheryl and a boy Kim... (full context)
Work vs. Education Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Kim has never smoked before, she's watched men in Hong Kong smoke and knows how. Curt calls her a natural and Kim takes several hits. She lies back and enjoys the... (full context)
Twelve
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
As Kim begins her senior year, she and Curt continue to fool around and rumors circulate that they're going out. Kim enjoys spending time... (full context)
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Work vs. Education Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
One afternoon, Curt tells Kim about an "arrogant waiter" at a restaurant. The waiter wouldn't bring Curt his... (full context)
Work vs. Education Theme Icon
At a tutoring session with Curt a week later, Curt tells Kim that life in the suburbs is hell on earth.... (full context)
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Work vs. Education Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
In March, Kim and Curt are leaving a school building together one afternoon when Kim notices Matt watching. His eyes... (full context)
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Family, Choices, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Work vs. Education Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...to be the one to save them anyway. Kim promises she's not going to see Curt again and finally, Matt leaves. As Kim tries to clean the blankets, she discovers the... (full context)
Thirteen
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Work vs. Education Theme Icon
...income. Kim plans on getting an office job over the summer as well. Kim and Curt officially break up and Matt spends all his free time with Kim. Park, however, withdraws... (full context)
Work vs. Education Theme Icon
...care of her, and he hates the idea of her being around other guys like Curt. Matt admits he's jealous. Stepping out of the narrative, Kim tells the reader that she... (full context)
Family, Choices, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...thinks that she's known she's pregnant ever since she saw the broken condoms. She tells Curt first and cries on his shoulder. He offers to marry her, and she can tell... (full context)