The Nickel Boys Quotes

Colson Whitehead
This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Nickel Boys.
This section contains 996 words
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...all those fractures and cratered skulls, the rib cages riddled with buckshot.
-- Narration (Prologue)

Importance: This line of narration describes the condition of many of the bones found by the archaeology team on what used to be the grounds of the Nickel School. Thus, the narrative heavily foreshadows the violence and abuse that is at the center of the narrative. Tonally, this foreshadowing emphasizes the solemn nature of the novel's narrative focus as it explores recent American history.

Jim Crow ain’t just going to slink off. His wicked self.
-- Harriet (chapter 2)

Importance: Grandma Harriet made this statement after the Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation. Harriet is specifically expressing the view that racial segregation will not simply disappear just because there was a legal ruling. Harriet's view is shown to be correct, and that further social action is necessary. The novel thereby highlights the distinctions between legal rulings and social realities.

There are big forces that...
-- Narration (chapter 2)

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This section contains 996 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Nickel Boys Study Guide
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