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Rubyfruit Jungle | Quotes


I fixed him real good and he deserves it. How come I don't feel good about it?

Molly, Book 1, Chapter 2

Molly, age 11, takes revenge on Earl Stambach by doing something nasty to him, but it's important to note she doesn't feel happy about having done it. It's also important to note the shift to present tense; Brown makes this shift to highlight thoughts that are especially important to Molly.


If I wanted to be a doctor I'd ... be one ... ain't nobody gonna tell me otherwise.

Molly, Book 1, Chapter 4

Molly has become incensed by Cheryl Spiegelglass's comment about the inability of girls to become doctors. Molly gets so angry she hits Cheryl. This action, along with her thoughts about Cheryl's comment, helps readers see how independent minded 11-year-old Molly is.


I can't like anybody if I don't like myself. Period.

Molly, Book 1, Chapter 4

This is Molly's response to Leroy's suggestion she conform to at least some expected behavior. She is scornful about trying to please people, an attitude that continues as Molly matures and faces new situations.


I don't care what ... I am. And I ain't staying away from people because they look different.

Molly, Book 2, Chapter 6

When Molly's family first arrives in the Deep South on their way to Florida, Molly argues with Carrie about segregation and Carrie's advice to follow its practices. When Leroy speculates on Molly's possible origins, Molly shows how little she cares about labeling people—including herself.


I had never thought I had much in common with anybody.

Molly, Book 2, Chapter 8

Molly expresses this thought during the summer before her senior year of high school when she is mostly on her own and thinking she and Leroy no longer have any reason to hang out together.


You ... do whatever you want to ... and the hell with the rest of the world.

Carl, Book 2, Chapter 8

Carl says this to Molly one night when they have the rare opportunity to spend time together by themselves. He dies shortly thereafter, and his death breaks Molly's heart.


I'm me. That's all I am and all I want to be.

Molly, Book 2, Chapter 9

This is Molly's response to Connie Pen's apparent need to label her as a lesbian. Molly wants to be herself and not labeled in any way.


I closed the door forever on idealism and the essential goodness of human nature.

Molly, Book 2, Chapter 10

This is Molly's thought as she leaves the University of Florida after having her scholarship revoked because she is a lesbian.


I have to do it my way. My way, understand.

Molly, Book 3, Chapter 13

Molly is trying to explain to Holly why she can never be a "kept woman." Molly's comment results in their final argument, as Holly thinks Molly is passing judgment on her values and way of living.


I do want you to bust right out of here, to break the whole scene wide open.

Holly, Book 3, Chapter 13

Holly tries to explain to Molly she is on her side, yet she is angry and jealous because she doesn't have Molly's ambition or strength of character.


Why can't I just write off those people the way they write me off?

Molly, Book 4, Chapter 14

Molly asks this question about herself after feeling wounded by Polina Bellantoni's reaction on learning Molly is a lesbian. Molly desperately wants to stop feeling so hurt by the rejection she continually experiences for being herself.


Why the entire world must look different to you.

Polina Bellantoni, Book 4, Chapter 15

This is Polina Bellantoni's comment to Molly after Molly tries to explain her ideas about society's abuse of women via advertising that promotes "heterosexuality and women's bodies to sell everything in this country." Polina has never thought of the world as it appears to Molly.


Who has time to think?

Leota, Book 4, Chapter 16

With this statement to Molly, Leota reveals she is going through life on autopilot, doing what "a woman is made for." She refuses to reflect on anything else and has no ability to understand or accept Molly's choices.


In New York City I can be more than a breeder of the next generation.

Molly, Book 4, Chapter 16

After her experience in York and her unsatisfying conversation with Leota, Molly realizes New York City is the only place where she has "any room, any hope" of being herself. She has confirmed her desire never to marry, and small-town life at the time would not allow her freedom to do anything other than marry and have children.


I wished the world would let me be myself.

Molly, Book 4, Chapter 18

Although a bitter and disappointed Molly caves in briefly to self-pity, the ending reaffirms the Molly so clearly portrayed throughout: a determined fighter.

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