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The Sellout Quotes

Paul Beatty
This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Sellout.
This section contains 1,127 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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He’s demanding to know how it is that in this day and age a black man can violate the hallowed principles of the Thirteenth Amendment by owning a slave.
-- Narrator (Prologue paragraph 49)

Importance: When the novel begins, the unnamed narrator is brought before the Supreme Court to face trial for owning a slave. This is especially distressing to the black community in particular since the narrator himself is black. As the case gets underway, the lone black judge on the Supreme Court can no longer hold back, and demands to know how a black man in the present day and age could own a slave given the history of racism and everything black people have been through. The narrator asks what harm a little slavery and segregation ever did anyone.

Who am I? And how may I become myself?
-- Narrator’s father (Chapter 1 paragraph 45)

Importance: Despite the rocky upbringing the narrator faced with his father, the narrator remembers that...

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This section contains 1,127 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Sellout Study Guide
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