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Tennessee Williams Quotes

42 of the best book quotes from Tennessee Williams
  1. #1
    “You look so cool, so cool, so enviably cool.”
  2. #2
    “You told me! I told you!”
  3. #3
    ″ The human animal is a beast that dies but the fact that he’s dying don’t give him pity for others. ”
  4. #4
    “She had a naked child with her, a little naked girl, barely able to toddle, and after a while she set this child on the ground and give her a push and whispered something to her. This child come toward me, barely able t’walk, come toddling up to me and—Jesus, it makes you sick t’remember a thing like this! It stuck out its hand and tried to unbutton my trousers!”
  5. #5
    “You been passing the buck. This disgust with mendacity is disgust with yourself. You!—you dug the grave of your friend and kicked him in it!—before you’d face the truth with him!”
  6. #6
    “When we talk ... nothing is said. ... Communication is awful hard between people. ”
  7. #7
    “Yep, they’re no-neck monsters, all no-neck people are monsters”
  8. #8
    “One man has one great good true thing in his life ... you are naming it dirty! ”
  9. #9
    “You two had something that had to be kept on ice, yes, incorruptible, yes!”
  10. #10
    “And so tonight we’re going to make the lie true. ”
  1. #11
    “I think the reason he buys everything he can buy is that in the back of his mind he has the crazy hopes that one of his purchases will be life everlasting!—Which it never can be.”
  2. #12
    ″ It was too rare to be normal, any true thing between two people is too rare. ”
  3. #13
    “Maybe it’s being alive that makes them lie, and being almost not alive makes me sort of accidentally truthful”
  4. #14
    ″ Nobody says, ‘You’re dying.’ You have to fool them. They have to fool themselves. ”
  5. #15
    “Why can’t exceptional friendship ... between two men be respected as ... clean and decent. ”
  6. #16
    “I—want to—knowwwww! ... Somebody must be lyin’! I want to know!”
  7. #17
    “Born poor, raised poor, expect to die poor unless I manage to get us something out of what Big Daddy leaves when he dies of cancer!”
  8. #18
    “A drinking man’s someone who wants to forget he isn’t still young an’ believing.”
  9. #19
    “Brick, I used to think that you were stronger than me and I didn’t want to be overpowered by you. But now, since you’ve taken to liquor—you know what? –I guess it’s bad, but now I’m stronger than you and I can love you more truly!”
  10. #20
    “Aw, Brick, you—BREAK MY HEART! ”

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  1. #21
    “And I did, I did so much, I did love you!—I even loved your hate and your hardness, Big Daddy!”
  2. #22
    “I am not a Polack. People from Poland are Poles, not Polacks. But what I am is a one hundred percent American, born and raised in the greatest country on earth and proud as hell of it, so don’t ever call me a Polack.”
  3. #23
    “But the wonderfullest trick of all was the coffin trick. We nailed him into a coffin and he got out of the coffin without removing one nail. . . . There is a trick that would come in handy for me—get me out of this two-by-four situation! . . . You know it don’t take much intelligence to get yourself into a nailed-up coffin, Laura. But who in hell ever got himself out of one without removing one nail?”
  4. #24
    “People go to the movies instead of moving! Hollywood characters are supposed to have all the adventures for everybody in America, while everybody in America sits in a dark room and watches them having them! Yes, until there’s a war. That’s when adventure becomes available to the masses!”
  5. #25
    “Man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter, and none of those instincts are given much play at the warehouse!”
  6. #26
    “No – I remember her perfectly now. Her hands shook so that she couldn’t hit the right keys! The first time we gave a speed test, she broke down completely – was sick at the stomach and almost had to be carried into the wash room! After that morning she never showed up anymore. We phoned the house but never got any answer.”
  7. #27
    “When I had that attack of pleurosis - he asked me what was the matter when I came back. I said pleurosis he thought that I said Blue Roses! So that’s what he always called me after that. Whenever he saw me, he’d holler, ‘Hello, Blue Roses!”
  8. #28
    “With an outraged groan he tears the coat off again, splitting the shoulder of it, and hurls it across the room. It strikes against the shelf of Laura’s glass collection, and there is a tinkle of shattering glass. Laura cries out as if wounded. ‘My glass!—menagerie...‘”
  9. #29
    “Laura, stretched out on the sofa, clenches her hand to her lips, to hold back a shuddering sob.”
  10. #30
    “The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart. The interior is therefore rather dim and poetic.”
  1. #31
    “Mother, when you’re disappointed, you get that awful suffering look on your face, like the picture of Jesus’ mother in the museum.”
  2. #32
    “I know your ambitions do not lie in the warehouse, that like everybody in the whole wide world—you’ve had to—make sacrifices, but—Tom—Tom—life’s not easy, it calls for—Spartan endurance!”
  3. #33
    “Glass breaks so easily. No matter how careful you are.”
  4. #34
    “Nonsense! Laura, I’ve told you never, never to use that word. Why, you’re not crippled, you just have a little defect - hardly noticeable, even! When people have some slight disadvantage like that, they cultivate other things to make up for it - develop charm - and vivacity and - charm! That’s all you have to do!”
  5. #35
    “The last we heard of him was a picture postcard from Mazatlan, on the Pacific coast of Mexico, containing a message of two words: ‘Hello — Goodbye!’ and no address. I think the rest of the play will explain itself. . .”
  6. #36
    “I descended the steps of this fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father’s footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. . . . I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. . . . I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of colored glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colors, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be!”
  7. #37
    “I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further—for time is the longest distance between two places.”
  8. #38
    “I wish that you were my sister. I’d teach you to have some confidence in yourself. The different people are not like other people, but being different is nothing to be ashamed of. Because other people are not such wonderful people. They’re one hundred times one thousand. You’re one times one! They walk all over the earth. You just stay here. They’re common as—weeds, but—you—well, you’re—Blue Roses!”
  9. #39
    “She remains by the table, picks up a piece from the glass menagerie collection, and turns it in her hands to cover her tumult.”
  10. #40
    “I married a man who worked for the telephone company! [. . .] A telephone man who—fell in love with long-distance!”
  11. #41
    “Well, in the South we had so many servants. Gone, gone, gone. All vestige of gracious living! Gone completely! I wasn’t prepared for what the future brought me. All of my gentlemen callers were sons of planters and so of course I assumed that I would be married to one and raise my family on a large piece of land with plenty of servants. But man proposes—and woman accepts the proposal!”
  12. #42
    “A fragile, unearthly prettiness has come out in Laura: she is like a piece of translucent glass touched by light, given a momentary radiance, not actual, not lasting.”

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