56 pages 1 hour read

Manchild in the Promised Land

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 1965

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Important Quotes

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“My friends were all daring like me, tough like me, dirty like me, cursed like me, and had a great love of trouble like me.”

(Chapter 1, Page 13)

While describing his childhood, Claude emphasizes the close relationship he had with his friends and also the way that their friend group was different from other kids their age. His word choice suggests that, despite their many struggles, they have fun breaking the rules.

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“I had realized that this was just another one of those crazy-acting, funny-dressing, no-talking people from down South. As I stood on the other side of the room looking at her, I was wondering if all the people down South were crazy like that.”

(Chapter 1, Page 28)

In this scene, Claude is looking at his Aunt Bea, visiting from South Carolina. It is the first place in the novel where he acknowledges the difference between northerners and southerners and expresses his dislike of the South.

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“When Dad tried to talk to me, it never worked out. It would always end up with him hitting me, not because of what I had done but because it came easier to him than talking.”

(Chapter 2, Page 35)

This encapsulates Claude’s relationship with his father for most of the novel. It also indicates that the abuse his father practiced on him was not Claude’s fault but was instead rooted in his father’s emotional state.