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Prince of Tides Quote Analysis

Updated on April 21, 2012

1. “I don’t know when my parents began their war against each other, but I do know the only prisoners they took were their children.”

This line was spoken in the beginning of the movie as it showed Tom Wingo, his twin sister Savannah and his older brother Luke playing and growing up. It shows clips of his mother and father and how the entire family interacted with each other. It mostly seems positive, carefree and happy. This quote is very important because it foreshadows what the audience will learn later on in the movie. The ultimate meaning of this quote is that Tom doesn’t realize when or how his parents began fighting and becoming miserable with each other, but he believes that their fighting caused serious problems for their children later in life.

2. “I used to think she was the most extraordinary person on earth…I wasn’t the first son to be wrong about his mother.”

This quote was also in the beginning of the movie, during the flashbacks of the Wingo family before things seemed to get really messed up. Tom Wingo also narrates this line, and what he means is that he grew up thinking that his mother was a saint, and could protect him and shade him from anything bad that could ever happen. He’s basically saying she turned out to be a terrible mother, and most definitely not the most extraordinary person on earth.

3. “Well your brothers dead and your sister tried to kill herself. You must be doing something right.”

This quote takes place during one of the meetings between Tom Wingo and Susan Lowenstein, his sister, Savannah’s, psychiatrist. They begin to develop a relationship throughout the film, and she seems to begin counseling him as she tries to figure out what happened in Savannah’s life that made her suicidal. Tom confides in Susan that he thinks he’s a total screw-up and that he turned out the worst out of all the children. Susan responds with this line to snap him out of it and make him realize that it could have been a lot worse- since his brother is dead and his sister wants to be. He’s still standing here alive.

4. “So you were even her memory then.”

This quote was also spoken during one of Lowenstein’s and Tom’s conversations in the privacy of her office where the truth starts coming out. Tom explains to Susan when he thinks Savannah first started losing her head. He describes one of his childhood memories when his mother miscarried, and in the middle of the night he found Savannah cradling and rocking the dead baby. In the morning, when Tom confronted Savannah, she said no one would be that crazy. Susan points out to Tom that he must have been Savannah’s memory all the way back then too.

5. “You don’t cry over Luke.” “What the hell for? It won’t bring him back.” “No, but it might bring you back.”

This is a small excerpt from a conversation that took place between Susan and Tom. They are discussing the event that took Tom’s brother, Luke’s, life. As Tom is describing what happened to his brother, in some ways his hero, he does not come across very emotional. Susan then basically asks why he doesn’t cry over Luke and Tom responds that there is no point because it will never bring him back. Susan makes a point that if maybe he let some of his pent up emotions out that are slowly drowning him, he could get out of his slump and fix his life.

6. “Name two good things about your parents.” “Luke and Savannah.” “Passionate, not for sale.”

This quote happens during an intense conversation between Susan Lowenstein and Tom Wingo. Susan is trying to understand why Tom hates his parents so much, and believes this his childhood was so horrible. She tries to get one good trait out about his parents when she asks him to name two good things about them. All he says is “Luke and Savannah”, his two siblings whom he seems to think are the only people that kept him sane during his childhood. Luke always stood up for the family, and especially took care of Tom. Savannah was his twin sister, his other half. Susan responds with “Passionate, not for sale”. She’s implying that Luke was passionate, and Savannah was not for sale. Meaning, Tom can’t get out that easy by using his brother and sister as the ONLY good things about his parents.

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