"This ain't no lan' of milk an' honey like the preacher's say" (251).
"...and her lips came together and she smiled mysteriously" (455).
Rose of Sharen
"I ain't sayin' for you to stay... You go right along. Me—I'm stayin" (111).
"Maybe it ain't a sin. Maybe it's just the way folks is" (23)
"A preacher is a nice thing to be with us. He give us a nice Grace this morning" (102)
"Maybe it's all men 'an all women we love; maybe that's the Holy Sperit—"
"Killin' pigs and goin' to California" (103)
Ruthie and Winfield
"Wherever they's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there" (419)
"Gonna get me a whole bunch of grapes off a bush, or whatever, an' I'm gonna squash 'em on my face an' let 'em run off my chin" (83)
"Sometimes I feel like something awful is going to happen to me" (23).
"Bigger paused, bewildered; then he saw coming slowly towards him a tall, thin, white woman, walking silently, her hands lifted delicately in the air and touching the walls to either side of her"
"After the revolution it will be ours. But we'll have to fight for it. What a world to win, Bigger! And when that day comes, things'll be different. There'll be no black and white; there'll be no rich or poor (69).
"He was black, he had been alone in a room where a white girl had been killed; therefore, he had killed her" (101).
"All I do is work, work like a dog! From morning till night. I ain't got no happiness. I ain't ever got none" (169)
"It won't. I'll get caught. But that don't make no difference. Anyhow, I was lost when I took up with you" (173)
"If you killed her, you killed me" (168).
"He's just like all the colored boys" (180).
"They feel that the plan of the murder and kidnapping was too elaborate to be the work of a Negro mind" (229)
" His arms are long, hanging in a dangling fashion to his knees. It is easy to imagine how this man, in the grip of a brain-numbing sex passion, overpowered little Mary Dalton, raped her, murdered her, beheaded her, then stuffed her body into a roaring furnace to destroy the evidence of his crime" (260).
"This boy comes from an oppressed people. Even if he has done wrong, we must take this into consideration" (273).
"What this boy has done will not influence my relations with the Negro people. Why, only today I sent a dozen ping-pong tables to the South Side Boy's Club..." (273)
"Please, Mam! Don't let them kill my boy! He ain't never had a chance! (280).
"Listen, Bigger, you are facing a sea of hate now that's no different from what you've faced all your life. And because it's that way, you've got to fight. If they can wipe you out, then they can wipe others out, too" (320).
"Aw, I don't know, Mr. Max. White folks and black folks is strangers. We don't know what each other is thinking" (324-325).
"In one respect, I am thankful that this is the case, for some of the facts of this evil crime are so fantastic and unbelievable, so utterly beast-like and foreign to our whole concept of life, that I feel incapable of communicating them to this Court" (345).
"The intellectual and moral faculties of mankind may as well be declared impotent, if the evidence and testimony submitted by the state are not enough to compel this Court to impose the death sentence upon Bigger Thomas, this despoiler of women" (352)
"I plead with you to see a mode of life in our midst, a mode of life stunted and distorted, but possessing its own laws and claims, an existence of men growing out of the soil prepared by the collective but blind will of a hundred million people. I beg you to recognize human life draped in a form and guise alien to ours, but springing from the soil plowed and sown by all our hands" (358).
"Bigger, I've never done anything against you and your people in my life. But I am a white man and it would be asking too much to ask you not to hate me, when every white man you see hates you" (267).
"And He will judge and forgive all, the good and the evil, the wise and the meek... and when He has done with all of them, then He will summon us. 'You come forth,' He will say. 'Come forth, ye drunkards, come forth, ye weak ones, come forth, ye children of shame!'" (20).
"When reason fails, the Devil helps!" (65)
"I'll go in and fall to my knees and confess everything..." (84)
"...we have cut ourselves off irrevocably from the past, and that, to my thinking is a great thing..." (131).
"He did not know how to rob; he could only murder. It was his first crime, I assure you, his first crime; he lost his head. And he got off more by luck than good counsel" (133).
"You might let him die in piece, at least," she shouted at the crowd, "is it a spectacle for you to gape at? With cigarettes!" (159)
"Yes... I'm covered in blood..." (164)
"Why do you demand of me a heroism that perhaps you have not either?... I am not committing murder. (203)
"He is a man of intelligence, but to act sensibly, intelligence is not enough" (205)
"What a strange person you are! You lead such a solitary life that you know nothing of matters that concern you directly" (225)
"And do you believe in God? Excuse my curiosity...And... do you believe in Lazarus rising from the dead?" (227).
"Foo! I have muddled it! Duece take it! This business is turning my brain !" (232)
"I hoped to get around you, but you took up the right line at once!" (244).
"I will withdraw that I may not hinder the pleasure of family intimacy, and the discussions of secrets" (263).
"She was trembling in a real physical fever. He had expected it. She was getting near the story of the greatest miracle and a feeling of immense triumph came over her" (284).
"What should I be without God?" (281).
"It is not merely that he has nowhere to run to, he is psychologically unable to escape me" (295).
"I have a sincere liking for you and genuinely wish you good" (300).