by Jeffrey Eugenides
Find quotes from this novel, with commentary from Shmoop. Pick a theme below to begin.
Fate and Free Will Quotes
In that optimistic, postwar America [...] everybody was the master of his own destiny. (1.1.35)
I was born twice: first, as a baby girl [...] and then again as a teenage boy. (1.1.1)
As they paced around the deck for the first time, Lefty and Desdemona were still brother and sister. The second time, they were bride and bridegroom. And the third, they were husband and wife. (1.4...
At night, in their bedroom, [Desdemona had] seen her sleeping brother press against his rope mattress as though angry with it. (1.2.41)
No one to love: no love. No love: no babies. No babies: no one to love. (1.2.75)
Old Age Quotes
At the age of forty-one, I feel another birth coming on. (1.1.4)
Because a person should never show vanity in the presence of death, Lefty stopped shaving and by the day of the funeral had grown nearly a full beard. (2.3.1)
Historical fact: people stopped being human in 1913. (2.1.155)
Jimmy Zizmo (shortened from Zisimopoulos) had come to America in 1907 at the age of thirty. (2.1.61)
Jimmy Zizmo's soul wasn't at rest. After death, the souls of the Orthodox do not wing their way directly to heaven. They prefer to linger on earth and annoy the living. (2.3.7)