I am trying to read more books! Here are some quotes from my first read in January. This was an extremely sad book to read, and I’d highly recommend it. The quotes I chose are poignant, but no short passages will reflect the depth or breadth of the novel.
“If happiness is anticipation with certainty, we were happy.” pg 16
“There in the dark [of the movie theater] she succumbed to hear earlier dreams. Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another–physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion. In equating physical beauty with virtue, she stripped her mind, bound it, and collected self-contempt by the heap. She forgot lust and simple caring for. She regarded love as possessive mating, and romance as the goal of the spirit. It would be for her a well-spring from which she would draw the most destructive emotions, deceiving the lover and seeking to imprison the beloved, curtailing freedom in every way.” pg 122
“When Sammy and Pecola were still young, Pauline had to go back to work. She was older now, with no time for dreams and movies. It was time to pull all of the pieces together, make coherence where before there had been none. The children gave her this need; she herself was no longer a child. So she became, and her process of becoming was like most of ours: she developed a hatred for things that mystified or obstructed her; acquired virtues that were easy to maintain; assigned herself a role in the scheme of things; and harked back to simpler times for gratification.” pg 124
“We were so beautiful when we stood astride her ugliness. Her simplicity decorated us, her guilt sanctified us, her pain made us glow with health, her awkwardness made us think we had a sense of humor. Her inarticulateness made us believe we were eloquent. Her poverty kept us generous. Ever her waking dreams we used–to silence our own nightmares. And she let us, and thereby deserved our contempt. We honed our egos on her, padded our characters with her frailty, and yawned in the fantasy of our strength.” pg 205