“Hot, shy, now Denver was lonely. All that leaving: first her brothers, then her grandmother--serious losses since there were no children willing to circle her in a game or hang by their knees from her porch railing. None of that had mattered as long as her mother did not look away as she was doing now, making Denver long, downright long, for a sign of spite from the baby ghost.” (Morrison 14-15)
“...Denver knew it was on her. She would have to leave the yard; step off the edge of the world, leave the two behind and go ask somebody for help.” (Morrison 286)
"'Mister, he looked so… free. Better than me. Stronger, tougher. Son a bitch couldn't even get out of the shell hisself but he was still king and I was…' Paul D stopped and squeezed his left hand with his right. He held it that way long enough for it and the world to quiet down and let him go on. 'Mister was allowed to be and stay what he was. But I wasn't allowed to be and stay what I was. Even if you cooked him you'd be cooking a rooster named Mister. But wasn't no way I'd ever be Paul D again, living or dead. Schoolteacher changed me. I was something else and that something was less than a chicken sitting in the sun on a tub.'" (Morrison 86)
“It ain't my job to know what's worse It's my job to know what is and to keep them away from what I know is terrible. I did that.” (Morrison 194).
"Bit by bit, at 124 and in the Clearing, along with others, she had claimed herself. Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another." (Morrison 111-112)