The Bluest Eye Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Bluest Eye The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
165,444 ratings, 4.05 average rating, 8,609 reviews
Open Preview
The Bluest Eye Quotes Showing 1-30 of 178
“Love is never any better than the lover. ”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe. There is no gift for the beloved. The lover alone possesses his gift of love. The loved one is shorn, neutralized, frozen in the glare of the lover’s inward eye.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“All of our waste which we dumped on her and which she absorbed. And all of our beauty, which was hers first and which she gave to us. All of us--all who knew her--felt so wholesome after we cleaned ourselves on her. 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. Even 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.

And fantasy it was, for we were not strong, only aggressive; we were not free, merely licensed; we were not compassionate, we were polite; not good, but well behaved. We courted death in order to call ourselves brave, and hid like thieves from life. We substituted good grammar for intellect; we switched habits to simulate maturity; we rearranged lies and called it truth, seeing in the new pattern of an old idea the Revelation and the Word.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“Lonely was much better than alone.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“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
“Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“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.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“But to find out the truth about how dreams die, one should never take the word of the dreamer.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had each accepted it without question.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“And fantasy it was, for we were not strong, only aggressive; we were not free, merely licensed; we were not compassionate, we were polite; not good, but well behaved. We courted death in order to call ourselves brave, and hid like thieves from life. We substituted good grammar for intellect; we switched habits to simulate maturity; we rearranged lies and called it truth, seeing in the new pattern of an old idea the Revelation and the Word.”
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
“guileless and without vanity,we were still in love with ourselves then. We felt comfortable in our own skins, enjoyed the news that our senses released to us, admired our dirt, cultivated our scars, and could not comprehend this unworthiness.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“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.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love a free man is never safe.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“I have only to break into the tightness of a strawberry, and I see summer – its dust and lowering skies.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“Certain seeds it will not nurture, certain fruit it will not bear and when the land kills of its own volition, we acquiesce and say the victim had no right to live”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“Jealousy we understood and thought natural... But envy was a strange, new feeling for us. And all the time we knew that Maureen Peal was not the Enemy and not worthy of such intense hatred. The Thing to fear was the Thing that made her beautiful, and not us.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“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.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“...the change was adjustment without improvement.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“So when I think of autumn, I think of somebody with hands who does not want me to die.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“If happiness is anticipation with certainty, we were happy.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“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
“Here was an ugly little girl asking for beauty....A little black girl who wanted to rise up out of the pit of her blackness and see the world with blue eyes. His outrage grew and felt like power. For the first time he honestly wished he could work miracles.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“All of us--all who knew her--felt so wholesome after we cleaned ourselves on
her. 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. Even her waking dreams
we used--to silence our own nightmares.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“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.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“Their conversation is like a gently wicked dance: sound meets sound, curtsies, shimmies, and retires. Another sound enters but is upstaged by still another: the two circle each other and stop. Sometimes their words move in lofty spirals; other times they take strident leaps, and all of it is punctuated with warm-pulsed laughter—like the throb of a heart made of jelly. The edge, the curl, the thrust of their emotions is always clear to Frieda and me. We do not, cannot, know the meanings of all their words, for we are nine and ten years old. So we watch their faces, their hands, their feet, and listen for truth in timbre.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“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 between.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“You looked at them and wondered why the were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had each accepted it without question. The mast had said, "You are ugly people." They had looked about themselves and saw nothing to contradict the statement; saw, in fact, support for it leaning at them from every billboard, every movie, every glance. "Yes," they had said. "You are right.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
“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.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

« previous 1 3 4 5 6