Quotes from The Member of the Wedding

Carson McCullers ·  163 pages

Rating: (12.5K votes)


“The trouble with me is that for a long time I have just been an I person. All people belong to a We except me. Not to belong to a We makes you too lonesome.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“She was afraid of these things that made her suddenly wonder who she was, and what she was going to be in the world, and why she was standing at that minute, seeing a light, or listening, or staring up into the sky: alone.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“They are the we of me.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“Listen,” F. Jasmine said. “What I’ve been trying to say is this. Doesn’t it strike you as strange that I am I, and you are you? I am F. Jasmine Addams. And you are Berenice Sadie Brown. And we can look at each other, and touch each other, and stay together year in and year out in the same room. Yet always I am I, and you are you. And I can’t ever be anything else but me, and you can ever be anything else but you. Have you ever thought of that? And does it seem to you strange? ”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“There are all these people here I don't know by sight or by name. And we pass alongside each other and don't have any connection. And they don't know me and I don't know them. And now I'm leaving town and there are all these people I will never know.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding



“It was better to be in a jail where you could bang the walls than in a jail you could not see.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“We all of us somehow caught. We born this way or that way and we don't know why. But we caught any how. I was born Berenice. You Born Franky. John Henry born John Henry. And maybe we wants to widen and bust free. But no matter what we do we still caught. Me is me and you is you and he is he. We each one of us somehow caught all by ourself. I'm caught worse than you is. Because I'm Black, because I'm colored.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“It happened that green and crazy summer when Frankie was twelve years old. This was the summer when for a long time she had not been a member. She belonged to no club and was a member of nothing in the world. Frankie had become an unjoined person and hung around in doorways, and she was afraid.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“She decided to donate blood to the Red Cross; she wanted to donate a quart a week and her blood would be in the veins of Australians and Fighting French and Chinese, all over the whole world, and it would be as though she were close kin to all of these people. She could hear the army doctors saying that the blood of Frankie Addams was the reddest and the strongest blood that they had ever known.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“I wish I was somebody else except me.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding



“She did not know why she was sad, but because of this peculiar sadness, she began to realize she ought to leave the town.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“There was a hollow in her chest, but at the bottom of this emptiness a heavy weight pressed down and bruised her stomach, so that she felt sick.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“You have a name and one thing after another happens to you, and you behave in various ways and do things, so that soon the name begins to have a meaning. Things have accumulated around your name.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“To me it is the irony of fate,” she said. “The way they come here. Those moths could fly anywhere. Yet they keep hanging around the windows of this house.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“But the music did not come again. The tune was left broken, unfinished. And the drawn tightness she could no longer stand. She felt she must do something wild and sudden that never had been done before. She hit herself on the head with her fist, but that did not help any at all. And she began to talk aloud, although at first she paid no attention to her own words and did not know in advance what she would say.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding



“It was the year Frankie thought about the world. And she did not see it as a round school globe, with the countries neat and different-colored. She thought of the world as huge and cracked and loose
and turning a thousand miles an hour.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“The world is certainty a sudden place.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“April that year came sudden and still, and the green of the trees was a wild bright green. The pale wistarias bloomed all over town, and silently the blossoms shattered. There was something about the green trees and the flowers of April that made Frankie sad. She did not know why she was sad, but because of this peculiar sadness, she began to realize she ought to leave the town.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“I know, but what is it all about? People loose and at
the same time caught. Caught and loose. All these people
and you don’t know what joins them up. There’s bound to
be some sort of reason and connection. Yet somehow I
can’t seem to name it. I don’t know.”
“If you did you would be God,” said Berenice. “Didn’t
you know that?”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“I think I have a vague idea what you were driving at,” she said. “We all of us somehow caught. We born this way or that way and we don’t know why. But we caught anyhow. I born Berenice. You born Frankie. John Henry born John Henry. And maybe we wants to widen and bust free. But no matter what we do we still caught. Me is me and you is you and he is he. We each one of us somehow caught all by ourself. Is that what you was trying to say?” “I don’t know,” F. Jasmine said. “But I don’t want to be caught” “Me neither,” said Berenice. “Don’t none of us. I’m caught worse than you is.” F. Jasmine understood why she had said this, and it was John Henry who asked in his child voice: “Why?” “Because I am black,” said Berenice. “Because I am colored. Everybody is caught one way or another. But they done drawn completely extra bounds around all colored people. They done squeezed us off in one corner by ourself. So we caught that first-way I was telling you, as all human beings is caught. And we caught as colored people also. Sometimes a boy like Honey feel like he just can’t breathe no more. He feel like he got to break something or break himself. Sometimes it just about more than we can stand.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding



“The point is that we all caught. And we try in one way or another to widen ourself free. For instance, me and Ludie. When I was with Ludie, I didn’t feel so caught. But then Ludie died. We go around trying one thing or another, but we caught anyhow.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“Frances wanted the whole world to die.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“You have a name and one thing after another happens to you, and you behave in various ways and do things, so that soon the name begins to have a meaning. Things have accumulated around the name.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“This was the summer when for a long time she had not been a member. She belonged to no club and was a member of nothing in the world. Frankie had become an unjoined person who hung around in doorways, and she was afraid.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding


“You are walking down a street and you meet somebody. Anybody. And you look at each other. And you are you. And he is him. Yet when you look at each other, the eyes make a connection. Then you go off one way. And he goes off another way. You go off into different parts of town, and maybe you never see each other again. Not in your whole life.”
― Carson McCullers, quote from The Member of the Wedding



About the author

Carson McCullers
Born place: in Columbus, Georgia, The United States
Born date February 19, 1917
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