Quotes

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Last Updated on August 7, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 612

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Floyd: I said you was just right for me and if I could get that I never would want nothing else. That’s why you ought to try me one more time. If you try me one more time, you never carry no regrets.

Floyd tries to convince Vera to take him back. Because he cheated on her, Vera has trouble trusting him again.

Floyd: See . . . I am going to Chicago. If I have to buy me a graveyard and kill everybody I see. I am going to Chicago. I don’t want to live my life without. Everybody I know live without. I don’t want to do that. I want to live with. I don’t know what you all think of yourself, but I think I’m supposed to have. Whatever it is. Have something. Have anything.

This moment reveals Floyd’s driving motivation to go to Chicago, which, for him, symbolizes success. His words about going so far as to kill are an exaggeration but not much of one. They show the lengths he will go to reach his dream. Later in the play, he goes so far as to rob a loan office to get the money he needs.

Floyd: You know better than to ask me where you get anything from. I took a chance. Lots of times in life you taking a chance. Some people say that’s all life is . . . And then sometime you be taking your last chance. If you taking your last chance, then you done used up your life.

Floyd has just robbed the money he needs to make it to Chicago and win back Vera. Ironically, this act is the “last chance” that leads to his death.

Floyd: Maybe all the times we don’t know the effect of what we do. But we cause what happens to us. Sometimes even in little ways we can’t see.

Talking to Vera, Floyd philosophizes on the nature of chance versus control over our lives. He is trying to convince Vera to get back together with him.

Red Carter: There’s too many people out there act crazy. Too many people with knives. Ice picks. Meat cleavers and everything else. They had one fellow got in a fight with somebody and pulled a hatchet out from under his coat.

This quote foreshadows Hedley’s “crazy,” violent act of killing Floyd. The reference to weapons signals Hedley’s later use of his machete.

Canewell: I always did believe in love. I felt like if you don’t believe in love you may as well not believe in nothing. Even love that ain’t but halfway is still love. And that don’t make it no less ’cause it’s only coming one way. If it was two ways it still be the same amount of love. Just like say I loved you and you didn’t love me back. I can still say I’m filled up with love for Vera.

This quote reveals Canewell’s tenderness and the importance he puts on love, even if it is unreciprocated. It also shows his relationship with Vera.

Ruby: The problem with Elmore was he never could get enough of me. He used to tell me he wanted to take it all so nobody else could have me. He wasn’t gonna leave none for nobody else to hear him tell it. That make you feel funny to be with a man want to use you up like that.

These words demonstrate the theme of male and female relationships in the play. Ruby does not want to feel like she is owned by a man.

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