Homegoing

by

Yaa Gyasi

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Marcus is Sonny and Amani’s son and the final descendant of Esi in the novel. He grows up in Harlem with Sonny and his grandmother, Willie. Marcus is completing a Ph.D. in Stanford on the convict leasing system, but ultimately he finds that he wants to speak about the multiple generations of oppression that his family has faced. Eventually, he meets Marjorie, who is the descendant of Effia, and the two help each other come to terms with their history and identity when they visit Ghana together.

Marcus Quotes in Homegoing

The Homegoing quotes below are all either spoken by Marcus or refer to Marcus. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Homegoing published in 2017.
Part 1: Ness Quotes

“I did it,” Ness says. She has spent the night hidden in the left corner of the room, watching this man she's been told is her husband become the animal he's been told that he is.

Related Characters: Ness (speaker), Marcus, Sam, The Devil
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Yaw Quotes

“What I know now my son: Evil begets evil. It grows. It transmutes, so that sometimes you cannot see that the evil in the world began as the evil in your own home. I'm sorry you have suffered.”

Related Characters: Akua / Crazy Woman (speaker), Yaw, Marjorie, Marcus
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Marcus Quotes

And if he slammed the book down, then everyone in the room would stare and all they would see would be his skin and his anger, and they’d think they knew something about him, and it would be the same something that had justified putting his great-grandpa H in prison, only it would be different too, less obvious than it once was.

Related Characters: H, Marcus
Page Number: 289-290
Explanation and Analysis:

How could he explain to Marjorie that he wasn’t supposed to be here? Alive. Free. That the fact that he had been born, that he wasn’t in a jail cell somewhere, was not by dint of his pulling himself up by the bootstraps, not by hard work or belief in the American Dream, but by mere chance.

Related Characters: Effia, Esi, Marjorie, Marcus
Page Number: 296
Explanation and Analysis:

“Here,” Marjorie said. “Have it.” She lifted the stone from her neck, and placed it around Marcus’s. “Welcome home.”

Related Characters: Marjorie (speaker), Marcus
Related Symbols: Black Stones, Water and Boats
Page Number: 300
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Homegoing LitChart as a printable PDF.
Homegoing PDF

Marcus Character Timeline in Homegoing

The timeline below shows where the character Marcus appears in Homegoing. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Marcus
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Marcus doesn’t care for water; the ocean had always nauseated him. His father, Sonny, had told... (full context)
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Marcus always saw Sonny’s brilliance, but knew that it was “trapped underneath something.” In the mornings... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Now getting his Ph.D. in sociology at Stanford, Marcus has been invited to a pool party to celebrate the new millennium. At the party,... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Family and Progress Theme Icon
Marcus calls Sonny every Sunday, checking in and making sure everything is okay. Sonny tells Marcus... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
After his phone call, Marcus’s friend Diante drags him to an art museum to try to find a girl he... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Marcus returns to his research. He had wanted to focus on the convict leasing system that... (full context)
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
Marcus goes to a party in San Francisco that night with Diante. During the party, Diante... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
When Marcus sees Marjorie, he feels as though he has been found. Months pass, and their friendship... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Marcus asks if she goes back to Ghana often. Marjorie admits that she hasn’t been back... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
Marcus spends the rest of the year avoiding his research. He and Marjorie had gone to... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Marcus explains that he’s afraid of the ocean because he has no idea where it begins.... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Marjorie and Marcus go to the Cape Coast Castle. The tour guide shows them the church, directly above... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Marcus feels sick to his stomach and starts to push on the door of the dungeon.... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Then Marjorie runs into the water, and asks Marcus to join her. He does, water crashing all around him. When he lifts his head... (full context)