The Power Quotes

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The Power The Power by Naomi Alderman
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“It doesn't matter that she shouldn't, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“One of them says, 'Why did they do it?'
And the other answers, 'Because they could.'
That is the only answer there ever is.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
tags: power
“This is the trouble with history. You can't see what's not there. You can look at an empty space and see that something's missing, but there's no way to know what it was.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“Gender is a shell game. What is a man? Whatever a woman isn't. What is a woman? Whatever a man is not. Tap on it and it's hollow. Look under the shells: it's not there.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“The truth has always been a more complex commodity than the market can easily package and sell.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“Nothing special has happened today; no one can say she was more provoked than usual. It is only that every day one grows a little, every day something is different, so that in the heaping up of days suddenly a thing that was impossible has become possible. This is how a girl becomes a grown woman. Step by step until it is done.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“You have been taught that you are unclean, that you are not holy, that your body is impure and could never harbour the divine. You have been taught to despise everything you are and to long only to be a man. But you have been taught lies.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“The shape of power is always the same: it is infinite, it is complex, it is forever branching. While it is alive like a tree, it is growing; while it contains itself, it is a multitude. Its directions are unpredictable; it obeys its own laws. No one can observe the acorn and extrapolate each vein in each leaf of the oak crown. The closer you look, the more various it becomes. However complex you think it is, it is more complex than that. Like the rivers to the ocean, like the lightning strike, it is obscene and uncontained.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“We’re only pretending everything is normal because we don’t know what else to do.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“However complicated you think it is, everything is always more complicated than that.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“The only wave that changes anything is a tsunami. You have to tear down the houses and destroy that land if you want to be sure no one will forget you.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“It’s enough for her to know, sitting in there in the dark, that if she really wanted to she could get out. The knowledge is as good as freedom.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“She listens at doors and around corners. She has always had this habit. A child in danger must learn to pay more attention to the adults than a child loved and cherished.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“Have you thought about the evolutionary psychology of it? Men have evolved to be strong worker homestead-keepers, while women—with babies to protect from harm—have had to become aggressive and violent.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“The world is the way it is now because of five thousand years of ingrained structures of power based on darker times when things were much more violent... But we don't have to act that way now. We can think and imagine ourselves differently once we understand what we 've based our ideas on.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“They say: only exceptional people can cross the borders. The truth is: anyone can cross, everyone has it in them. But only exceptional people can bear to look it in the eye.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“Just like a man,” she says. “Does not know how to be silent, thinks we always want to hear what he has to say, always talking talking talking, interrupting his betters.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“It follows that there are two ways for the nature and use of human power to change. One is that an order might issue from the palace, a command unto the people saying “It is thus.” But the other, the more certain, the more inevitable, is that those thousand thousand points of light should each send a new message. When the people change, the palace cannot hold.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“The way we think about our past informs what we think is possible today.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“the highest among us aren’t always the wisest,”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“It doesn't matter that she shouldn't, that she never would. What matters is that she could if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“Gender is a shell game. What is a man? Whatever a woman isn’t. What is a woman? Whatever a man is not. Tap on it and it’s hollow. Look under the shells: it’s not there.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“Power has her ways. She acts on people, and people act on her.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“It is only that every day one grows a little, every day something is different, so that in the heaping up of days suddenly a thing that was impossible has become possible.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“There is a part in each of us which holds fast to the old truth: either you are the hunter or you are the prey. Learn which you are. Act accordingly. Your life depends upon it.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“Now they will know,” shouts one woman into Tunde’s camera, “that they are the ones who should not walk out of their houses alone at night. They are the ones who should be afraid.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“When does power exist? Only in the moment it is exercised. To the woman with a skein, everything looks like a fight.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“It’s not a fucking crisis anymore. This is the new reality.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“They come to ask for her teachings.
They say, "Why do you call God 'She'?"
Eve says, "God is neither woman nor man but both these things. But now She has come to show us a new side to Her face, one we have ignored for too long."
They say, "But what about Jesus?"
Eve says, "Jesus is the son. But the son comes from the mother. Consider this: which is greater, God or the world?"
They say, for they have learned this already from the nuns, "God is greater, because God created the world."
Eve says, "So the one who creates is greater than the thing created?"
They say, "It must be so."
Then Eve says, "So which must be greater, the Mother of the Son?”
Naomi Alderman, The Power
“It’s not for us to worry about the men,” she says. “Let them please themselves, as they always have. If they want to war with each other and to wander, let them go. We have each other. Where you go, I will go. Your people will be my people, my sisters.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power

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