Yes, when I get big and have my own home, no plush chairs and lace curtains for me. And no rubber plants. I'll have a desk like this in my parlor and white walls and a clean green blotter every Saturday night and a row of shining yellow pencils always sharpened for writing and a golden-brown bowl with a flower or some leaves or berries always in it and books . . . books . . . books. . . .
From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.
Francie was ten years old when she first found an outlet in writing. What she wrote was of little consequence. What was important was that the attempt to write stories kept her straight on the dividing line between truth and fiction. If she had not found this outlet in writing, she might have grown up to be a tremendous liar.
Most women had the one thing in common: they had great pain when they gave birth to their children. This should make a bond that held them all together; it should make them love and protect each other against the man-world. But it was not so. It seemed like their great birth pains shrank their hearts and their souls. They stuck together for only one thing: to trample on some other woman... whether it was by throwing stones or by mean gossip. It was the only kind of loyalty they seemed to have. Men were different. They might hate each other but they stuck together against the world and against any woman who would ensnare one of them.
Because the child must have a valuable thing which is called imagination. The child must have a secret world in which live things that never were. It is necessary that she believe. She must start out believing in things not of this world. Then when the world becomes too ugly for living in, the child can reach back and live in her imagination.
...May I have this damaged bunch for two cents? Speak strongly and it shall be yours for two cents. That is a saved penny that you put in the star bank...Suffer the cold for an hour. Put a shawl around you. Sai, I am cold because I am saving to buy land. That hour will save you three cents' worth of coal... When you are alone at night, do not light the lamp. Sit in the darkness and dream awhile. Reckon out how much oil you saved and put its value in pennies in the bank. The money will grow. Someday there will be fifty dollars and somewhere on this long island is a piece of land that you may buy for that money.
Man hätte meinen können, all die Unwillkommenen würden sich zusammentun und gemeinsam gegen die Macht auftreten, die sie nicht aufkommen lassen wollte. Aber dem war nicht so. Sie hassten einander ebensosehr, wie die Lehrerin sie hasste. Sie imitierten die [...] Lehrerin [...]. Es gab in jeder Klasse einen Unglücklichen, den die Lehrerin zum Sündenbock stempelte. Dieses arme Kind wurde unausgesetzt getadelt und gequält, an ihm reagierte sie ihre Unzufriedenheit mit sich selbst ab. Und kaum hatten die anderen Schüler erkannt, wen sich die Lehrerin zum Opfer gewählt hatte, wandten auch sie sich mit doppelter Grausamkeit und Herzlosigkeit gegen dieses arme Geschöpf. Dafür schmeichelten sie denjenigen, die bei der Lehrerin in Gunst standen. Vielleicht hatten sie irgendwie das Gefühl, dadurch dem Thron näher zu kommen.
Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn New York. Especially in the summer of 1912. Somber as a word was better. But it did not apply to Williamsburg Brooklyn. Prairie was lovely and Shenandoah had a beautiful sound but you couldn't fit those words into Brooklyn. Serene was the only word for it especially on a Saturday afternoon in summer.