Quotes from Cat's Eye

Margaret Atwood ·  462 pages

Rating: (47.6K votes)


“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“Love blurs your vision; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever. It's like the tide going out, revealing whatever's been thrown away and sunk: broken bottles, old gloves, rusting pop cans, nibbled fishbodies, bones. This is the kind of thing you see if you sit in the darkness with open eyes, not knowing the future.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“I don't want to see anyone. I lie in the bedroom with the curtains drawn and nothingness washing over me like a sluggish wave. Whatever is happening to me is my own fault. I have done something wrong, something so huge I can't even see it, something that's drowning me. I am inadequate and stupid, without worth. I might as well be dead.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“Knowing too much about other people puts you in their power, they have a claim on you, you are forced to understand their reasons for doing things and then you are weakened.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“Love blurs your vision; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever. It's like the tide going out, revealing whatever's been thrown away and sunk: broken bottles, old gloves, rusting pop cans, nibbled fishbodies, bones. This is the kind of thing you see if you sit in the darkness with open eyes, not knowing the future. The ruin you've made.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye



“Hatred would have been easier. With hatred, I would have known what to do. Hatred is clear, metallic, one-handed, unwavering; unlike love.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“Forgiving men is so much easier than forgiving women.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“I knew what love was supposed to be: obsession with undertones of nausea. ”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“I lie on the floor, washed by nothing and hanging on. I cry at night. I am afraid of hearing voices, or a voice. I have come to the edge, of the land. I could get pushed over.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“When I am lonely for boys it’s their bodies I miss. I study their hands lifting the cigarettes in the darkness of the movie theaters, the slope of a shoulder, the angle of a hip. Looking at them sideways, I examine them in different lights. My love for them is visual: that is the part of them I would like to possess. Don’t move, I think. Stay like that, let me have that.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye



“Never pray for justice, because you might get some.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“Vanity is becoming a nuisance, I can see why women give it up, eventually. But I'm not ready for that yet.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“What we share may be a lot like a traffic accident but we get one another. We are survivors of each other. We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat. That counts for something.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“And yet it disturbs me to learn I have hurt someone unintentionally. I want all my hurts to be intentional.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“Old lovers go the way of old photographs, bleaching out gradually as in a slow bath of acid: first the moles and pimples, then the shadings. Then the faces themselves, until nothing remains but the general outlines.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye



“Happy as a clam, is what my mother says for happy. I am happy as a clam: hard-shelled, firmly closed.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“This is what I miss, Cordelia: not something that’s gone, but something that will never happen. Two old women giggling over their tea.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“The world is being run by people my age, men my age, with falling-out hair and health worries, and it frightens me. When the leaders were older than me I could believe in their wisdom, I could believe they had transcended rage and malice and the need to be loved. Now I know better. I look at the faces in newspapers, in magazines, and wonder: what greeds, what furies drive them on?”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“Most mothers worry when their daughters reach adolescence but I was the opposite. I relaxed, I sighed with relief. Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another they are not cute. They are life sized.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“I'm a fool, to confuse this with goodness. I am not good.
I know too much to be good. I know myself.
I know myself to be vengeful, greedy, secretive and sly.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye



“We are survivors, of each other. We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat. That counts for something.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“I look at him with the nostalgic affection men are said to feel for their wars, their fellow veterans. I think, I once threw things at this man. I threw a glass ashtray, a fairly cheap one which didn't break. I threw a shoe (his) and a handbag (mine), not even snapping the handbag shut first, so that he was showered with a metal rain of keys and small change. The worst thing I threw was a small portable television set, standing on the bed and heaving it at him with the aid of the bouncy springs, although the instant I let fly I thought, Oh God, let him duck! I once thought I was capable of murdering him. Today I feel only a mild regret that we were not more civilized with each other at the time. Still, it was amazing, all those explosions, that recklessness, that Technicolor wreckage. Amazing and agonizing and almost lethal.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“Today on the way home, it snows. Big, soft caressing flakes fall onto our skin like cold moths; the air fills with feathers.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another they are not cute. They are life sized.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“I see that there will be no end to imperfection, or to doing things the wrong way. Even if you grow up, no matter how hard you scrub, whatever you do, there will always be some other stain or spot on your face or stupid act, somebody frowning.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye



“I did not know how to paint or even what to paint, but I knew I had to begin.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“This is the middle of my life, I think of it as a place, like the middle of a river, the middle of a bridge, halfway across, halfway over. I'm supposed to have accumulated things by now: possessions, responsibilities, achievements, experience and wisdom. I'm supposed to be a person of substance.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“In my dreams of this city I am always lost.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


“A wave of blood goes up to my head, my stomach shrinks together, as if something dangerous has just missed hitting me. It's as if I've been caught stealing, or telling a lie; or as if I've heard other people talking about me, saying bad things about me, behind my back. There's the same flush of shame, of guilt and terror, and of cold disgust with myself. But I don't know where these feelings have come from, what I've done.”
― Margaret Atwood, quote from Cat's Eye


About the author

Margaret Atwood
Born place: in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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