Quotes from The Group

Mary McCarthy ·  496 pages

Rating: (10.7K votes)

“One of the big features of living alone was that you could talk to yourself all you wanted and address imaginary audiences, running the gamut of emotion.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“If [she] had come to prefer the company of odd ducks, it was possibly because they had no conception of oddity, or rather, they thought you were odd if you weren't.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“I understand what you are feeling,” he said. “As Socrates showed, love cannot be anything else but the love of the good. But to find the good is very rare. That is why love is rare, in spite of what people think. It happens to one in a thousand, and to that one it is a revelation. No wonder he cannot communicate with the other nine hundred and ninety-nine.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“Love had done this to her, for the second time. Love was bad for her. There must be certain people who were allergic to love, and she was one of them. Not only was it bad for her; it made her bad; it poisoned her. Before she knew him, not only had she been far, far happier but she had been nicer. Loving him was turning her into an awful person, a person she hated.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“You mustn’t force sex to do the work of love or love to do the work of sex—that’s quite a thought, isn’t it?”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“She decided she wanted a cool, starchy independent life, with ruffles of humor like window curtains.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“He was a thoroughly bad hat, then, but that was the kind, of course, that nice women broke their hearts over.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“He would have been far more attractive to her if she could have trusted him. You could not love a man who was always playing hide-and-seek with you; that was the lesson she had learned.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“All I knew that night was that I believed in something and couldn’t express it, while your team believed in nothing but knew how to say it—in other men’s words.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“Elinor was always firmly convinced of other people’s hypocrisy since she could not believe that they noticed less than she did.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“It came to her that he was going to leave without making love to her. This would mean they had made love for the last time this morning. But that did not count: this morning they did not know it was for the last time. When the door shut behind him, she still could not believe it. "It can't end like this," she said to herself over and over, drumming with her knuckles on her mouth to keep from screaming.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“I mean exactly that,” Mr. Davison retorted. “You’ve hit the nail smack on the head. We pay a price for having money. People in my position”—he turned to Kay—“have ‘privilege.’ That’s what I read in the Nation and the New Republic.” Mrs. Davison nodded. “Good,” said Mr. Davison. “Now listen. The fellow who’s got privilege gives up some rights or ought to.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“The group was not afraid of being radical either; they could see the good Roosevelt was doing, despite what Mother and Dad said; they were not taken in by party labels and thought the Democrats should be given a chance to show what they had up their sleeve.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“It was the cocktail hour in Priss’s room at New York Hospital—terribly gay.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“But this poor chap is a dangerous neurotic.” Polly laughed. “So you saw that, Father. I never could. He always seemed so normal.” “It’s the same thing,” said her father, putting the groceries away. “All neurotics are petty bourgeois. And vice versa. Madness is too revolutionary for them. They can’t go the whole hog. We madmen are the aristocrats of mental illness. You could never marry that fellow, my dear.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

“You have to live without love, learn not to need it in order to live with it.”
― Mary McCarthy, quote from The Group

About the author

Mary McCarthy
Born place: in Seattle, Washington, The United States
Born date June 21, 1912
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