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Quotes

Quote #4

The children needed her; she needed money, and needed to get on with her life. But the demands of feeding her children were so acute she had to postpone her anger for two years until she had both the time and the energy for it. (1921.5)

Sometimes our choices are made for us: by other people, by the circumstances of our lives, by the responsibilities we have. Eva can't make the choice to indulge in her anger; her hungry children are the more immediate concern. For some characters in the novel, choices are a luxury they don't have.

Quote #5

In the safe harbor of each other's company they could afford to abandon the ways of other people and concentrate on their own perceptions of things. (1922.17)

Sula and Nel make the conscious decision to act according to their own ideas about the world. They're able to do this because they have each other, and because they're kids. Sula maintains this attitude into adulthood, and it makes her a social outcast.

Quote #6

It was after he stood in line for six days running that and saw the gang boss pick out thin-armed white boys from the Virginia hills and the bull-necked Greeks and Italians and heard over and over, "Nothing else today. Come back tomorrow," that he got the message. (1927.7)

Jude is robbed of his choices because of his race. He wants so badly to work on the bridge, but this choice isn't open to him because he's not white. Jude shows us that there are differences between dreams and choices.

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