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Toni Morrison Quotes (123 Quotes)


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  • In Ohio seasons are theatrical. Each one enters like a prima donna, convinced its performance is the reason the world has people in it.
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")

  • They encouraged you to put some of your weight in their hands and soon as you felt how light and lovely it was, they studied your scars and tribulations...
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")

  • Anger is better. There is a sense of being in anger. A reality and presence. An awareness of worth. It is a lovely surging.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • Sunk in the grass of an empty lot on a spring Saturday, I split the stems of milkweed and thought about ants and peach pits and death and where the world went when I closed my eyes.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • In trying to make the slave experience intimate, I hoped the sense of things being both under control and out of control would be persuasive throughout; that the order and quietitude of every day life would be violently disrupted by the chaos of the needy dead; that the herculean effort to forget would be threatened by memory desperate to stay alive. To render enslavement as a personal experience, language must first get out of the way.
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")


  • Unless carefree, mother love was a killer.
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")

  • But to find out the truth about how dreams die, one should never take the word of the dreamer.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • The fire seemed to live, go down, or die according to its own schemata. In the morning, however, it always saw fit to die.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • It never looked as terrible as it was and it made her wonder if hell was a pretty place too. Fire and brimstone all right, but hidden in lacy groves.
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")

  • Well, feel this, why don't you? Feel how it feels to have a bed to sleep in and somebody there not worrying you to death about what you got to do each day to deserve it. Feel how that feels. And if that don't get it, feel how it feels to be a colored woman roaming the roads with anything God made liable to jump on you. Feel that.
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")

  • Each member of the family in his own cell of consciousness, each making his own patchwork quilt of reality - collecting fragments of experience here, pieces of information there. From the tiny impressions gleaned from one another, they created a sense of belonging and tried to make do with the way they found each other.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • There is a difference between being put out and being put outdoors. If you are put out, you go somewhere else; if you are outdoors, there is no place to go. The distinction was subtle but final. Outdoors was the end of something, an irrevocable, physical fact, defining and complementing our metaphysical condition... Dead doesn't change, and outdoors is here to stay.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")

  • Lay my head on the railroad line. Train come along; pacify my mind.
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")

  • You your best thing, Sethe. You are.
    (Toni Morrison, "Beloved")

  • Each night, without fail, she prayed for blue eyes. Fervently, for a year she had prayed. Although somewhat discouraged, she was not without hope. To have something as wonderful as that would take a long, long time.
    (Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye")


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