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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 465

Here are some quotes from Manchild in the Promised Land:

  • "I was back in the fish-and-chips joint, lying on the floor dying. Only, now I was in more pain than before, and there were dozens of Mamas around me jumping and screaming. I could hear myself dying in a rising pool of blood. The higher the blood rose the more I died" (3). After Sonny is shot and taken to the hospital, he is administered morphine and has a nightmare about his mother (in multiples) jumping around him while his blood rises. This is the incident that begins the book and starts Sonny down a path of eventual discovery and redemption.
  • "I spoke to Papanek. He was a real nice cat . . . He wasn't a pushover kind of cat. He was just a nice cat, a cat you had to respect. When most people say 'nice,' they mean someone you can run over or get your way with, but he wasn't nice that way. The cat was nice in his mind. The way he looked at life and people was beautiful" (109). Sonny meets Papanek in Wiltwyck, and Papanek, the administrator, inspires Sonny with his belief in Sonny and with his kindness. Papanek has faith in Sonny and shows him acceptance and love. Papanek is an example to Sonny of someone who can be loving; he is different from the hardened people Sonny sees around him.
  • "You had to get into this thing with the whores, and sooner or later you had to use drugs, and sooner or later you had to shoot somebody or do something crazy like that. And I didn't want to" (111). In this quote, Sonny is speaking about the life that awaits him in Harlem, or in Brooklyn, if he continues to...

(The entire section contains 465 words.)

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