I Am Legend

A ranking officer in the “new society” of living vampires (i.e., vampires who retain their intelligence and memory, and who live at peace with their vampire bacteria by taking special pills). Toward the end of the novel, Ruth shows up near Robert Neville’s house, pretending to be a normal human being. The two share a romantic connection, and though she’s seemingly been sent to kill Neville, she only knocks him out, and then leaves him a letter telling him to leave Los Angeles immediately. In the end, Neville is captured, and Ruth mercifully offers him poison capsules so that he won’t have to suffer an execution at the hands of the vengeful new society.

Ruth Quotes in I Am Legend

The I Am Legend quotes below are all either spoken by Ruth or refer to Ruth. 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:
Otherness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Tor Books edition of I Am Legend published in 2007.
Chapter 16 Quotes

All these years, he thought, dreaming about a companion. Now I meet one and the first thing I do is distrust her, treat her crudely and impatiently.
And yet there was really nothing else he could do. He had accepted too long the proposition that he was the only normal person left. It didn't matter that she looked normal. He'd seen too many of them lying in their coma that looked as healthy as she. They weren't, though, and he knew it. The simple fact that she had been walking in the sunlight wasn't enough to tip the scales on the side of trusting acceptance. He had doubted too long. His concept of the society had become ironbound. It was almost impossible for him to believe that there were others like him. And, after the first shock had diminished, all the dogma of his long years alone had asserted itself.

Related Characters: Robert Neville, Ruth
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 17 Quotes

They were silent then and the only sound in the room was the rasping of the needle on the inner grooves of the record. She wouldn't look at him, but kept staring at the floor with bleak eyes. It was strange, he thought, to find himself vaguely on the defensive for what yesterday was accepted necessity. In the years that had passed he had never once considered the possibility that he was wrong. It took her presence to bring about such thoughts. And they were strange, alien thoughts.
"Do you actually think I'm wrong?" he asked in an incredulous voice.

Related Characters: Robert Neville (speaker), Ruth
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 18 Quotes

He didn't know how long it was they sat there holding each other close. He forgot everything, time and place; it was just the two of them together, needing each other, survivors of a black terror embracing because they had found each other.

Related Characters: Robert Neville, Ruth
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 19 Quotes

When I was first given the job of spying on you, I had no feelings about your life. Because I did have a husband, Robert. You killed him.
But now it's different. I know now that you were just as much forced into your situation as we were forced into ours.

Related Characters: Ruth (speaker), Robert Neville
Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 21 Quotes

"New societies are always primitive," she answered. "You should know that. In a way we're like a revolutionary group—repossessing society by violence. It's inevitable. Violence is no stranger to you. You've killed. Many times."
"Only to ... to survive."
"That's exactly why we're killing," she said calmly.

Related Characters: Ruth (speaker), Robert Neville
Related Symbols: Vampires
Page Number: 155
Explanation and Analysis:

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"I'm a ranking officer in the new society," she said. His hand stirred under hers.
"Don't ... let it get . .." He coughed up blood. "Don't let it get . . . too brutal. Too heartless."
"What can I—" she started, then stopped. She smiled at him. "I'll try," she said.

Related Characters: Robert Neville (speaker), Ruth (speaker)
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:

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Ruth Character Timeline in I Am Legend

The timeline below shows where the character Ruth appears in I Am Legend. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
...and “What’s your name?” Slowly, the woman stops struggling. She whispers that her name is Ruth. (full context)
Chapter 16
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
It’s four in the afternoon, and Ruth lies asleep in Neville’s bed. Neville sits in his living room, trying to understand what’s... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
Ruth emerges from the bedroom, and Neville begins to ask her some questions. Ruth explains that... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Ruth insists that she isn’t infected at all; rather, she just has a weak stomach. Unconvinced,... (full context)
Chapter 17
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
Neville and Ruth eat supper together. Neville explains to Ruth that he doesn’t understand how the vampires are... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
Neville explains to Ruth that crosses are sometimes an effective deterrent to the vampires, but not always. Vampires who... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
Ruth looks at Neville carefully, and says, “You don’t believe a word I’ve said, do you?”... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
Neville tells Ruth about something else he’s discovered: he can make Cortman panic by waving a copy of... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
Ruth asks Neville, “Tell me about yourself,” and Neville isn’t sure how to reply. Neville realizes... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
Ruth then asks Neville a question: if, as he says, some of the vampires are still... (full context)
Chapter 18
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
...the couch, where he’s been sleeping. Neville cries out, “Virge!” only to realize that it’s Ruth, walking down the hall. Neville gets out of bed, dresses, and accuses Ruth of trying... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Ruth asks Neville, “Why were we punished like this?” Neville says he doesn’t know, and apologizes... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
...a long time, Neville stands up, gets his syringe and proceeds to draw blood from Ruth. He bends over a microscope, assuring Ruth that, if she is infected, he’ll find a... (full context)
Chapter 19
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Neville wakes up in his house. He sees that the front door is wide open: Ruth is gone. He finds a note from Ruth, explaining, “I want to save you if... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
Ruth’s note goes on to explain that she and her friends are infected with the germ,... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Science Theme Icon
...to the note. He feels confused about what’s just happened: he remembers that he and Ruth “had embraced, they had …” In the midst of his confusion, however, Neville remembers a... (full context)
Chapter 20
Otherness Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
...vampires’ bodies, and blood spurts everywhere. Neville realizes that he’s looking at the “new society” Ruth described in her letter. The people of the new society attack dead vampires in the... (full context)
Chapter 21
Otherness Theme Icon
Grief, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
...gives him some water, then wipes his perspiring forehead. Neville sees that the woman is Ruth. Ruth asks, “Why did you fight them? They had orders to bring you in unharmed.”... (full context)
Otherness Theme Icon
Survival and Violence Theme Icon
Ruth whispers that she’s a ranking officer in the new society. Outside, the people of the... (full context)