1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

'Beloved' Quotes

Toni Morrison's Famous (& Controversial) Novel

By

Study Guide Quotes

Beloved is a novel by Toni Morrison, who uses flashbacks and other devices to draw us through the tragic series of events in Seth's life. A moment of insanity shaped the rest of her existence; and, she (and those around her) would never be the same. Here are a few quotes from this dark novel, Beloved.
  • "124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 1

  • "My first-born. All I can remember of her is how she loved the burned bottom of bread. Can you beat that? Eight children and that's all I remember."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 1

  • "a pool of red and undulating light that locked him where he stood."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 1

  • "If a Negro got legs he ought to use them. Sit down too long, somebody will figure out a way to tie them up."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 1

  • "I got a tree on my back and a haint in my house, and nothing in between but the daughter I am holding in my arms. No more running--from nothing. I will never run from another thing on this earth. I took one journey and I paid for the ticket, but let me tell you something, Paul D Garner: it cost too much! Do you hear me? It cost too much."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 1

  • "the house itself was pitching."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 1

  • "A man ain't nothing but a man. But a son? Well, now, that's somebody"
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 2

  • "The picture is still there and what's more, if you go there--you who never was there--if you go there and stand in the place where it was, it will happen again; it will be there for you, waiting for you. So, Denver, you can't never go there. Never. Because even though it's all over--over and done with--it's going to always be there waiting for you."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 3

  • "Would it be all right? Would it be all right to go ahead and feel? Go ahead and count on something?"
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 3

  • "To Sethe, the future was a matter of keeping the past at bay. The 'better life' she believed she and Denver were living was simply not that other one."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 3

  • "Denver hated the stories her mother told that did not concern herself, which is why Amy was all she ever asked about. The rest was a gleaming, powerful world made more so by Denver's absence from it. Not being in it, she hated it and wanted Beloved to hate it too, although there was no chance of that at all."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 6

  • "Why was there nothing it refused? No misery, no regret, no hateful picture too rotten to accept? Like a greedy child it snatched up everything. Just once, could it say, No thank you? I just ate and can't hold another bite?"
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 7

  • "I don't want to know or have to remember that. I have other things to do: worry, for example, about tomorrow, about Denver, about Beloved, about age and sickness not to speak of love. But her brain was not interested in the future. Loaded with the past and hungry for more, it left her no room to imagine, let alone plan for, the next day."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 7

  • "Come on, you may as well just come on."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 8

  • "Those white things have taken all I had or dreamed,' she said, 'and broke my heartstrings too. There is no bad luck in the world but whitefolks."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 9

  • "Bit by bit, at 124 and in the Clearing, along with others, she had claimed herself. Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 9

  • "She had been so close, then closer. And it was so much better than the anger that ruled when Sethe did or thought anything that excluded herself. She could bear the hours--nine or ten of them each day but one--when Sethe was gone. Bear even the nights when she was close but out of sight, behind walls and doors lying next to him. But now--even the daylight time that Beloved had counted on, disciplined herself to be content with, was being reduced, divided by Sethe's willingness to pay attention to other things. Him mostly."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 9

  • "Making them think the next sunrise would be worth it; that another stroke of time would do it at last."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 10

  • "Only when she was dead would they be safe. The successful ones--the ones who had been there enough years to have maimed, mutilated, maybe even buried her--kept watch over the others who were still in her cock-teasing hug, caring and looking forward, remembering and looking back."
    - Toni Morrison, Beloved, Ch. 10

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.