| Quote #1
He thought of Gus and G.H. and Jack. Should he go to the poolroom and talk with them? But there was no use in his going unless they were ready to do what they had been long planning to do. If they could, it would mean some sure and quick money. From three o’clock to four o’clock in the afternoon there was no policeman on duty in the block where Blum’s Delicatessen was and it would be safe. One of them could hold a gun on Blum and keep him from yelling; one could watch the front door; one could watch the back; and one could get the money from the box under the counter. Then all four of them could lock Blum in the store and run out through the back and duck down the alley and meet an hour later, either at Doc’s poolroom or at the South Side Boys’ Club, and split the money.
In need of money just to watch a movie, Bigger’s thoughts turn toward a "real" holdup job, not the kind they’ve always committed, always against other blacks. Though he knows it’s more lucrative, he also recognizes that holding up a white man is more dangerous because the rules that govern that kind of crime are different than the rules that govern black-against-black crime. In other words, holding up a white man will bring the full weight of the law down upon them.
| Quote #2
"Let’s play ‘white,’" Bigger said, referring to a game of play-acting in which he and his friends imitated the ways and manners of white folks.
As Bigger and Gus "play white," we begin to realize their conception of the universe: whites have power and blacks have none. Each white person they choose to play has power and uses his power unsparingly against those without power.
| Quote #3
"You know one thing?" Big said.
Bigger has a premonition that something bad is going to happen to him, merely because of the color of his skin. Though Gus tells him to stop thinking about it, Bigger’s onto something: he realizes that he’s trapped in a world where whites dictate what he can and can’t do, where he can and can’t go.