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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 439

Here are some important quotes from Home to Harlem:

  • "Jake was disappointed. He had enlisted to fight. For what else had he been sticking a bayonet into the guts of a stuffed man and aiming bullets straight into a bull's-eye? Toting planks and getting into rows with his white comrades at the Bal Musette were not adventure" (4). In this quote, the author discusses Jake's alienation from the army when he is fighting in France during World War I. Jake feels that the fight is for white men, and he questions why he is fighting in the war as a black man. Jake is not involved in combat and eventually deserts the army.
  • "Jake's woman could do nothing to please him now. She tried hard to get down into his thoughts and share them with him. But for Jake this woman was now only a creature of another race—of another world. He brooded day and night" (8). Jake feels the color line acutely in his relationship with a white woman in England and longs to return to black women in Harlem. He feels alienated from white people.
  • "Fifth Avenue, Lenox Avenue, and One Hundred Thirty-Fifth Street, with their chocolate-brown and walnut-brown girls, were calling him" (8). Jake returns home to Harlem in part because he only feels comfortable with black women and only feels at home in Harlem.
  • "The deep-dyed color, the thickness, the closeness of it. The noises of Harlem. The sugared laughter. The honey-talk on its streets. And all night long, ragtime and "blues" playing somewhere . . . singing somewhere, dancing somewhere! Oh, the contagious fever of Harlem. Burning everywhere in dark-eyed Harlem" (15). Jake is attracted to the feverish atmosphere and...

(The entire section contains 439 words.)

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