The Girls– Words & Quotes

Words from The Girls by Emma Cline:

  • cadge- to ask for or obtain
  • penitent – someone who repents
  • conflate- merge
  • cogent- clear, logical, or convincing
  • assiduous- showing great care and perseverance
  • elegy- a poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead
  • accrual- gr0wth

Quotes from The Girls by Emma Cline:

“Sleek and thoughtless as sharks breaching the water.”

“I’d forgotten that dopey part of teenage girls: the desire for love flashing in her face so directly that it embarrassed me.”

“Living alone was frightening in that way. No one to police the spill of yourself, the ways you betrayed your primitive desires.”

“I waited to be told what was good about me. I wondered later if this was why there were so many more women than men at the ranch. All that time I had spent readying myself, the articles that taught me life was really just a waiting room until someone noticed you—the boys spent that time becoming themselves.”

“How I loved to wring myself out that way, stoking my feelings until they were unbearable.”

“That was part of being a girl—you were resigned to whatever feedback you’d get. If you got mad, you were crazy, and if you did react, you were a bitch.”

“Everyone can love, can transcend the bullshit, but so many things get us all stopped up.”

“The heart doesn’t own anything… That’s not what love is about.”

“They throw something away and they still want it. That’s America.”

“…she hadn’t known her hatred only made us more powerful.”

“I would always be like this, I thought, the person who closed the refrigerator.”

“You wanted things and you couldn’t help it, because there was only your life, only yourself to wake up with, and how could you ever tell yourself what you wanted was wrong?”

“But there wasn’t anything but the awful, immediate knowledge—we had never been close. I had not meant anything.”

“We all want to be seen.”


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