20 Quotes from Normal People book by Sally Rooney

Hello friends. This post is a collection of quotes from the New York Times bestseller book - Normal People by Sally Rooney.

Normal People has been described as an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person's life - a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel.

Chapter 1-5 Quotes

She sits at her dressing table looking at her face in the mirror. Her face lacks definition around the cheeks and jaw. It's a face like a piece of technology, and her two eyes are cursors blinking. Or it's reminiscent of the moon reflected in something, wobbly and oblique. It expresses everything all at once, which is the same as expressing nothing. - Normal People, Chapter 2

Marianne had the sense that her real life was happening somewhere very far away, happening without her, and she didn't know if she would ever find out where it was and become part of it. She had that feeling in school often, but it wasn't accompanied by any specific images of what the real life might look or feel like. All she knew was that when it started, she wouldn’t need to imagine it anymore. - Normal People, Chapter 2

That's so good, she kept saying. That feels so good. Her body was all soft and white like flour dough. He seemed to fit perfectly inside her. Physically it just felt right, and he understood why people did insane things for sexual reasons then. - Normal People, Chapter 2

[...] everyone has to pretend not to notice that their social lives are arranged hierarchically, with certain people at the top, some jostling at mid-level, and others lower down. Marianne sometimes sees herself at the very bottom of the ladder, but at other times she pictures herself off the ladder completely, not affected by its mechanics, since she does not actually desire popularity or do anything to make it belong to her. From her vantage point it is not obvious what rewards the ladder provides, even to those who really are at the top. - Normal People, Chapter 4

I'm sorry the others were being so stupid about it. They just think Pat is great because he has these parties in his house sometimes. Apparently if you have house parties it's okay to mess with people, I don't know. - Normal People, Chapter 4

Chapter 6-10 Quotes

In just a few weeks' time Marianne will live with different people, and life will be different. But she herself will not be different. She'll be the same person, trapped inside her own body. There's nowhere she can go that would free her from this. A different place, different people, what does that matter? - Normal People, Chapter 6

[...] how hard it is to make friends in Trinity. [...] People here are such snobs. Even if they liked me I honestly wouldn't want to be friends with them. - Normal People, Chapter 8

[...] hopefully I have changed, you know, as a person. But honestly, if I have, it's because of you. - Normal People, Chapter 8

Generally I find men are a lot more concerned with limiting the freedoms of women than exercising personal freedom for themselves. - Normal People, Chapter 9

Marianne [...] asks Joanna if she finds it strange, to be paid for her hours at work - to exchange, in other words, blocks of her extremely limited time on this earth for the human invention known as money. It's time you'll never get back, Marianne adds. I mean, the time is real. The money is also real. Well, but the time is more real. Time consists of physics, money is just a social construct. - Normal People, Chapter 10

Chapter 11-15 Quotes

If you can't handle a little sibling rivalry, I don't know how you're going to manage adult life, darling. - Normal People, Chapter 12

Just to see Helen, her beautiful face, her smile, and to know that she continues loving him, this puts the gift of joy into his day, and for hours he feels nothing but a light-headed happiness. - Normal People, Chapter 13

He senses a certain receptivity in her expression, like she's gathering information about his feelings, something they have learned to do to each other over a long time, like speaking a private language. He can feel his face get warm as she looks at him but he doesn't want to look away. He can gather information from her face too. He gathers that she has things she wants to tell him. - Normal People, Chapter 13

There's always been something inside her that men have wanted to dominate, and their desire for domination can look so much like attraction, even love. In school the boys had tried to break her with cruelty and disregard, and in college men had tried to do it with sex and popularity, all with the same aim of subjugating some force in her personality. - Normal People, Chapter 14

Could he really do the gruesome things he does to her and believe at the same time that he's acting out of love? Is the world such an evil place, that love should be indistinguishable from the basest and most abusive forms of violence? - Normal People, Chapter 14

What we can do here in counselling is try to work on your feelings, and your thoughts and behaviours, she says. We can't change your circumstances, but we can change how you respond to your circumstances. Do you see what I mean? - Normal People, Chapter 15

Chapter 16-18 Quotes

Cruelty does not only hurt the victim, but the perpetrator also, and maybe more deeply and more permanently. You learn nothing very profound about yourself simply by being bullied; but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget. - Normal People, Chapter 16

From a young age her life has been abnormal, she knows that. But so much is covered over in time now, the way leaves fall and cover a piece of earth, and eventually mingle with the soil. Things that happened to her then are buried in the earth of her body. She tries to be a good person. But deep down she knows she is a bad person, corrupted, wrong, and all her efforts to be right, to have the right opinions, to say the right things, these efforts only disguise what is buried inside her, the evil part of herself. - Normal People, Chapter 16

No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not. - Normal People, Chapter 18

All these years they've been like two little plants sharing the same plot of soil, growing around one another, contorting to make room, taking certain unlikely positions. - Normal People, Chapter 18

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