Homegoing

by

Yaa Gyasi

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Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Homegoing published in 2017.
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Part 1: Effia Quotes

He knew then that the memory of the fire that burned, then fled, would haunt him, his children, and his children’s children for as long as the line continued.

Related Characters: Effia, Maame, Baaba, Cobbe Otcher
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

The need to call this thing “good” and this thing “bad,” this thing “white” and this thing “black,” was an impulse that Effia did not understand.

Related Characters: Effia, James Collins, Adwoa
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Esi Quotes

“Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.”

Related Characters: Maame (speaker), Esi, Abronoma, Kwame Asare / Big Man
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

When he had finished, he looked horrified, disgusted with her. As though he were the one who had had something taken from him. As though he were the one who had been violated.

Related Characters: Esi
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Quey Quotes

Quey had wanted to cry but that desire embarrassed him. He knew that he was one of the half-caste children of the Castle, and, like the other half-caste children, he could not fully claim either half of himself, neither his father's whiteness nor his mother’s blackness. Neither England nor the Gold Coast.

Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

This was how they lived there, in the bush: Eat or be eaten. Capture or be captured. Marry for protection. Quey would never go to Cudjo's village. He would not be weak. He was in the business of slavery, and sacrifices had to be made.

Related Characters: Effia, Quey, James Collins, Nana Yaa, Cudjo Sackee, Fiifi
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:
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 1: James Quotes

“There's more at stake here than just slavery, my brother. It's a question of who will own the land, the people, the power. You cannot stick a knife in a goat and then say, Now I will remove my knife slowly, so let things be easy and clean, let there be no mess. There will always be blood.”

Related Characters: Quey (speaker), James, Nana Yaa
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

“That was my father and grandfather's work. It is not mine.” He didn’t add that because of their work, he didn’t have to work, but instead could live off the family name and power.

Related Characters: James (speaker), Quey, James Collins, Akosua, Amma Atta
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Kojo Quotes

He loved the look of those boats, loved that his hands helped build and maintain them, but Ma Aku always said it was bad juju, him and all the other freed Negroes working on ships. She said there was something evil about them building up the things that had brought them to America in the first place, the very things that had tried to drag them under.

Related Characters: Kojo / Jo, Ma Aku, Anna
Related Symbols: Water and Boats
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

He would never truly know who his people were, and who their people were before them, and if there were stories to be heard about where he had come from, he would never hear them.

Related Characters: Esi, Ness, Kojo / Jo, Ma Aku, Sam, Anna
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Abena Quotes

An unmarried twenty-five-year-old woman was unheard of, in her village or any other on this continent or the next. But there were only a few men in her village, and none of them wanted to take a chance with Unlucky's daughter.

Related Characters: James, Abena
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: H Quotes

Mm-hmm. See, that's what I thought. You was young. Slavery ain’t nothin’ but a dot in your eye, huh? If nobody tell you, I’ma tell you. War may be over but it ain’t ended.

Related Characters: H
Page Number: 158
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Akua Quotes

In her dreams the fire was shaped like a woman holding two babies to her heart. The firewoman would carry these two little girls with her all the way to the woods of the Inland and then the babies would vanish, and the firewoman’s sadness would send orange and red and hints of blue swarming every tree and every bush in sight.

Related Characters: Effia, Esi, Akua / Crazy Woman , Maame
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:

“You are a sinner and a heathen,” he said. Akua nodded. The teachers had told them this before. “Your mother had no husband when she came here to me, pregnant, begging for help. I helped her because that is what God would have wanted me to do. But she was a sinner and a heathen, like you.”

Related Characters: The Missionary (speaker), Abena, Akua / Crazy Woman , Ohene Nyarko
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Willie Quotes

How she could put his skin to good use, be less cautious if she were him. If she could, she would put her voice in his body, in his skin.

Related Characters: Willie, Carson / Sonny, Robert Clifton
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Yaw Quotes

“This is the problem of history. We cannot know that which we were not there to see and hear and experience for ourselves. We must rely upon the words of others […] We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story.”

Related Characters: Yaw (speaker), Esi, Ness
Page Number: 226
Explanation and Analysis:

“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: Sonny Quotes

He was mad at her because he didn’t have a father, and she was mad at him because he’d become as absent as his own.

Related Characters: Willie, Carson / Sonny, Robert Clifton
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:

“We can’t go back to something we ain’t never been to in the first place. It ain’t ours anymore. This is.” She swept her hand in front of her, as though she were trying to catch all of Harlem in it, all of New York, all of America.

Related Characters: Amani Zulema (speaker), Carson / Sonny
Page Number: 255
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Marjorie Quotes

Her father had told her that the necklace was a part of their family history and she was to never take it off, never give it away. Now it reflected the ocean water before them, gold waves shimmering in the black stone.

Related Characters: Effia, Akua / Crazy Woman , Yaw, Marjorie, Maame
Related Symbols: Black Stones, Water and Boats
Page Number: 267
Explanation and Analysis:

As a last defense, Marjorie had heard him tell the principal that she was “not like other black girls.” And, somehow, that had been worse. She had already given him up.

Related Characters: Marjorie, Graham
Page Number: 280
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:
No matches.