Toni Morrison Quotes (123 Quotes)


    She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.

    Nothing could be taken for granted. Women who loved you tried to cut your throat, while women who didn't even know your name scrubbed your back. Witches could sound like Katharine Hepburn and your best friend could try to strangle you. Smack in the middle of an orchid there might be a blob of jello and inside a Mickey Mouse doll, a fixed and radiant star.


    Sifting daylight dissolves the memory, turns it into dust motes floating in light.

    She was the third beer. Not the first one, which the throat receives with almost tearful gratitude; nor the second, that confirms and extends the pleasure of the first. But the third, the one you drink because it's there, because it can't hurt, and because what difference does it make?


    Misery colored by the greens and blues in my mother's voice took away all the grief out of the words and left me with a conviction that pain was not only endurable, it was sweet.

    Some things you forget. Other things you never do. But it's not. Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, it's gone, but the place--the picture of it--stays, and not just in my remory, but out there, in the world. What I remember is a picture floating around out there outside my head. I mean, even if I don't think if, even if I die, the picture of what I did, or knew, or saw is still out there. Right in the place where it happened.

    They hooted and laughed all the way back to the car, teasing Milkman, egging him on to tell more about how scared he was. And he told them. Laughing too, hard, loud, and long. Really laughing, and he found himself exhilarated by simply walking the earth. Walking it like he belonged on it; like his legs were stalks, tree trunks, a part of his body that extended down down down into the rock and soil, and were comfortable there--on the earth and on the place where he walked. And he did not limp.

    Never did he once consider directing his hatred toward the hunters. Such an emotion would have destroyed him ... His subconscious knew what his min did not guess-that hating them would have consumed him, burned him up like a piece of soft coal, leaving only flakes of ash and a question mark of smoke.


    Sweet, crazy conversations full of half sentences, daydreams and misunderstandings more thrilling than understanding could ever be.

    Where do you get the right to decide our lives? I'll tell you where. From that little hog's gut that hangs between your legs. Well, let me tell you something... you will need more than that. I don't know where you will get it or who will give it to you, but mark my words, you will need more than that.... You are a sad, pitiful, stupid, selfish, hateful man. I hope your little hog's gut stands you in good stead, and you take good care of it, because you don't have anything else.

    Only her tight, tight eyes were left. They were always left...They were everything. Everything was there, in them...Thrown, in this way, into the binding conviction that only a miracle could relieve her, she would never know her beauty. She would see only what there was to see: the eyes of other people.

    Clever, but schoolteacher beat him anyway to show him that definitions belonged to the definers - not the defined.

    The threads of malice creeping toward him from Beloved's side of the table were held harmless in the warmth of Sethe's smile.


    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.


    There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up, holding, holding on, this motion, unlike a ship's, smooths and contains the rocker. It's an inside kind--wrapped tight like skin. Then there is the loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive. On its own. A dry and spreading thing that makes the sound of one's own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.


    She left me the way people leave a hotel room. A hotel room is a place to be when you are doing something else. Of itself it is of no consequence to one's major scheme. A hotel room is convenient. But its convenience is limited to the time you need it while you are in that particular town on that particular business; you hope it is comfortable, but prefer, rather, that it be anoymous. It is not, after all, where you live.



    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 Ohio seasons are theatrical. Each one enters like a prima donna, convinced its performance is the reason the world has people in it.

    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...

    Anger is better. There is a sense of being in anger. A reality and presence. An awareness of worth. It is a lovely surging.

    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.

    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.



    The fire seemed to live, go down, or die according to its own schemata. In the morning, however, it always saw fit to die.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.



    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.

    They had stared at her with great uncomprehending eyes. Eyes that questioned nothing and asked everything. Unblinking and unabashed, they stared up at her. The end of the world lay in their eyes, and the beginning, and all the waste in bewteen.

    Let me tell you something. A man ain't a goddamn ax. Chopping, hacking, busting every goddamn minute of the day. Things get to him. Things he can't chop down because they're inside.


    I had only one desire: to dismember it. To see of what it was made, to discover the dearness, to find the beauty, the desirability that had escaped me, but apparently only me.

    They seemed to have taken all of their smoothly cultivated ignorance, their exquisitely learned self-hatred, their elaborately designed hopelessness and sucked it all up into a fiery cone of scorn that had burned for ages in the hollows of their minds - cooled - and spilled over lips of outrage, consuming whatever was in its path.


    Gimme hate, Lord,ö he whimpered. ôIÆll take hate any day. But donÆt give me love. I canÆt take no more love, Lord. I canÆt carry it...ItÆs too heavy. Jesus, you know, You know all about it. AinÆt it heavy? Jesus? AinÆt love heavy?



    No matter what all your teeth and wet fingers anticipated, there was no accounting for the way that simple joy could shake you.


    More Toni Morrison Quotations (Based on Topics)


    World - People - Love - Time - Education - Man - Mind - Sense & Perception - Beauty - Hatred - Children - Woman - Books - Cities - Friendship - Life - Power - Place - Pain - View All Toni Morrison Quotations

    More Toni Morrison Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Beloved
    - Song of Solomon
    - The Bluest Eye

    Related Authors


    Tom Clancy - Pearl S. Buck - J. R. R. Tolkien - Honore de Balzac - Arthur Koestler - Arthur Herzog - Anne Bronte - Amy Tan - Alistair Maclean - Aldous Huxley


Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Authors (by First Name)

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Other Inspiring Sections

Login to your account below

Fill the forms bellow to register

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.