From my treasure trove of books, one of the most poetic and well-written books I have encountered is Toni Morrison’s debut work, The Bluest Eye. Not only does it have a compelling story line about African-American girlhood in post-Great Depression Ohio, it also possesses some of the most colorful (no puns intended) lines I have encountered while reading. The way Morrison played with words and with metaphors is an amazing spectacle to say the least.

As a testament to the beauty of the story, I have rounded up ten of the most powerful and most exceptional lines from this modern classic. Here they are. I hope you will love these lines as well.

If you haven’t read my review of Nobel Prize for Literature winning writer Toni Morrison’s debut work yet, click here.


“The death of self-esteem can occur quickly, easily in children, before their ego has “legs,” so to speak. Couple the vulnerability of youth with indifferent parents ,dismissive adults, and a world, which, in its language, laws, and images, re-enforces despair, and the journey to destruction is sealed.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye


“This soil is bad for certain kinds of flowers Certain seeds it will not nurture certain fruit it will not bear, and when the land kills of its own volition, we acquiesce and say the victim had no right to live. We are wrong, of course, but it doesn’t matter. It’s too late. At least on the edge of my town, among the garbage and the sunflowers of my town, it’s much, much, much too late.”
Tony Morrison, The Bluest Eye


“Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another – physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought, Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity and ended in disillusion.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye


“Someone appeared, with gentle and penetrating eyes, who – with no exchange of words – understood; and before whose glance her eyes dropped. The someone had no face, no form, no voice, no odour. He was a simple Presence, an all-embracing tenderness with strength and a promise of rest.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye


“Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe. There is no gift for the beloved. The lover alone possesses his gift of love. The loved one is shorn, neutralized, frozen in the glare of the lover’s inward eye.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye


“Each member of the family in his own cell of consciousness, each making his own patchwork quilt of reality – collecting fragments of experience here, pieces of information there. From the tiny impressions gleaned from one another, they created a sense of belonging and tried to make do with the way they found each other.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye


“And fantasy it was, for we were not strong, only aggressive; we were not free, merely licensed; we were not compassionate, we were polite; not good, but well behaved. We courted death in order to call ourselves brave, and hid like thieves from life. We substituted good grammar for intellect; we switched habits to simulate maturity; we rearranged lies and called it truth, seeing in the new pattern of an old idea the Revelation and the Word.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye


“They seemed to have taken all of their smoothly cultivated ignorance, their exquisitely learned self-hatred, their elaborately designed hopelessness and sucked it all up into a fiery cone of scorn that had burned for ages in the hollows of their minds – cooled – and spilled over lips of outrage, consuming whatever was in its path.”
~Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye


“You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. They you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had each accepted it without question.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye



“She left me the way people leave a hotel room. A hotel room is a place to be when you are doing something else. Of itself it is of no consequence to one’s major scheme. A hotel room is convenient. But its convenience is limited to the time you nee it while you are in that particular town on that particular business; you hope it is comfortable, but prefer, rather, that it be anonymous. It is not, after all, where you live.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

So there readers, ten amazing quotes from The Bluest Eye. I hope you enjoyed them. How about you, what are your favorite quotes from the book? Share it in the comment box. 🙂

Happy reading!