Gregory Maguire · 406 pages
Rating: (532.4K votes)
“People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us... It's people who claim that they're good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.”
“Remember this: Nothing is written in the stars. Not these stars, nor any others. No one controls your destiny.”
“Where I'm from, we believe in all sorts of things that aren't true... we call it history.”
“One never learns how the witch became wicked, or whether that was the right choice for her~is it ever the right choice? Does the devil ever struggle to be good again, or if so is he not a devil?”
“And girls need cold anger. They need the cold simmer, the ceaseless grudge, the talent to avoid forgiveness, the side stepping of compromise. They need to know when they say something that they will never back down, ever, ever.”
“So he stalked her again. Love makes hunters of us all.”
“There was much to hate in this world and too much to love.”
“You confuse not speaking with not listening.”
“She dropped her shyness like a nightgown, and in the liquid glare of sunlight on old boards she held up her hands-as if, in the terror of the upcoming skirmish, she had at last understood that she was beautiful. In her own way.”
“The body apologizes to the soul for its errors, and the soul asks forgiveness for squatting in the body without invitation.”
“People always did like to talk, didn't they? That's why I call myself a witch now: the Wicked Witch of the West, if you want the full glory of it. As long as people are going to call you a lunatic anyway, why not get the benefit of it? It liberates you from convention.”
“He lingered at the door, and said, 'The Lion wants courage, the Tin Man a heart, and the Scarecrow brains. Dorothy wants to go home. What do you want?'...
She couldn't say forgiveness, not to Liir. She started to say 'a soldier,' to make fun of his mooning affections over the guys in uniform. But realizing even as she said it that he would be hurt, she caught herself halfway, and in the end what came out of her mouth surprised them both.
She said, 'A soul-'
He blinked at her.”
“I know you don't want to hear this but someone has to say it! You are out of control! I mean they're just shoes... let it go!”
“Because no retreat from the world can mask what is in your face.”
“No one controls your destiny. Even at the very worst - there is always choice.”
“The wickedness of men is that their power breeds stupidity and blindness.”
“There are two kinds of anger: hot and cold. Boys and girls experience both, but as they grow up the anger separates according to the sex. Boys need hot anger to survive. They need inclination to fight, the drive to sink the knife into the flesh, the energy and initiative of fury. It's a requirement of hunting, of defense, of pride. Maybe of sex too. And girls need cold anger. They need the cold simmer, the ceaseless grudge, the talent to avoid forgiveness, the sidestepping of compromise. They need to know when they say something that they will never back down, ever, ever. It's the compensation for a more limited scope in the world. Cross a man and you struggle, one of you wins, you would adjust and go on -- or you lie there dead. Cross a woman and the universe is changed, once again, for cold anger requires an eternal vigilance in all matters of slight and offense.”
“I never use the words HUMANIST or HUMANITARIAN, as it seems to me that to be human is to be capable of the most heinous crimes in nature.”
“I shall pray for your soul,' promised Nessarose.
I shall wait for your shoes,' Elphie answered.”
“That was such a wonderful time, even in its strangeness and sadness-and life isn't the same now. It's wonderful, but it isn't the same.”
“And of the Witch? In the life of a Witch, there is no "after", in the "ever after" of a Witch there is no "happily"; in the story of a Witch, there is no afterword. Of that part that is beyond the life story, beyond the story of the life, there is-alas, or perhaps thank mercy-no telling. She was dead, dead, and gone, and all that was left of her was the carapace of her reputation for malice.”
“In summer moonlight, she was dangerously, inebriatingly magnified. ”
“They moved together, blue diamonds on a green field.”
“There were more ways to live than the ones given by one's superiors”
“Animals are born who they are, accept it, and that is that. They live with greater peace than people do.”
“The answer of course, is that the clock isn't meant to measure earthly time, but the time of the soul. Redemption and condemnation time. For the soul, each instant is always a minute short of judgment. ”
“The real thing about evil," said the Witch at the doorway, "isn't any of what you said. You figure out one side of it - the human side, say - and the eternal side goes into shadow. Or vice versa. It's like the old saw: What does a dragon in its shell look like? Well no one can ever tell, for as soon as you break the shell to see, the dragon is no longer in its shell. The real disaster of this inquiry is that it is the nature of evil to be secret.”
“It's unbecoming," she agreed. "A perfect word for my new life. Unbecoming. I who have always been unbecoming am becoming un.”
“Always the bridesmaid , never the bride."
Always the godfather, never the god".”
“But she woke up just then, and in the moonlight covered herself with a blanket. She smiled at him drowsily and called him "Yero, my hero," and that melted his heart.”
“It's all your fault, Mother,' said Larry austerely; 'you shouldn't have brought us up to be so selfish.' 'I like that!' exclaimed Mother. 'I never did anything of the sort!' 'Well, we didn't get as selfish as this without some guidance,' said Larry.”
“The sorry truth is you can walk your feet to blisters, walk till kingdom-com, and you never will outpace your grief.”
“She was grinning and she should have been pretty when she grinned. She had good white teeth and a lovely, delicate mouth. But something always went wrong with Denise's smile. There was always something manic in it.”
“How wrong people always were when they said: 'It's better to know the worst than go on not knowing either way.' No; they had it exactly the wrong way round. Tell me the truth, doctor, I'd sooner know. But only if the truth is what I want to hear.”
“We depend on neither man nor beast to get us where we need to go. If you rely on your own two good legs, then they won’t let you down.”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.