Best 23 “Before We Were Free” Quotes
“Before We Were Free” is a captivating historical novel written by Julia Alvarez. Set in the Dominican Republic during the time of dictator Rafael Trujillo, the story follows the life of a young girl named Anita as she navigates the complex political climate and strives for freedom. Throughout the book, Alvarez weaves together powerful and thought-provoking quotes that resonate with readers. In this article, we will explore the best 23 “Before We Were Free” quotes that capture the essence of the novel.
1. “Freedom is not given, it is taken.” – Julia Alvarez
This quote sets the tone for the entire novel, emphasizing the importance of fighting for one’s freedom rather than waiting for it to be granted.
2. “There’s a difference between being free and being safe.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita reflects on the harsh reality that sometimes achieving freedom comes at a great cost, and safety may have to be sacrificed.
3. “Silence has a sound.” – Anita de la Torre
Alvarez beautifully captures the weight and power of silence, highlighting the significance of the unspoken in a repressive society.
4. “The truth is a dangerous thing.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita realizes the risks associated with speaking the truth in a regime where dissent is not tolerated.
5. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” – Julia Alvarez
Alvarez reminds us that true courage lies in facing our fears and standing up for what we believe in, even in the face of adversity.
6. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita reflects on the importance of solidarity and the disappointment of friends who choose to remain silent in the face of injustice.
7. “Sometimes you have to pretend you’re someone else just to survive.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita learns the art of disguise and the necessity of hiding her true self to protect her family and survive under a repressive regime.
8. “The truth is like a fire. You try to control it, but it winds up controlling you.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita realizes that attempting to suppress the truth only fuels its power and influence.
9. “We were free, we just didn’t know it.” – Anita de la Torre
Through the eyes of a young girl, Alvarez emphasizes the importance of recognizing and appreciating the freedoms we often take for granted.
10. “Hope is the thing with feathers.” – Anita de la Torre
Referencing Emily Dickinson’s famous poem, Anita finds solace in hope and its ability to uplift even in the darkest times.
11. “We were a family, a real family. And nothing could break us apart.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita cherishes the strength and unity of her family, which serves as a source of comfort and support throughout their struggles.
12. “The past is always with us, and it’s never over.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita reflects on the lasting impact of history and how it shapes the present and future.
13. “Sometimes not knowing is better than knowing.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita grapples with the burden of knowledge and the weight it can carry.
14. “Courage is contagious.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita discovers the power of one person’s bravery to inspire others and create a ripple effect.
15. “The truth will set you free, but first, it will make you miserable.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita recognizes the difficult journey of embracing the truth and the pain it can bring before liberation is achieved.
16. “The world can be a dangerous place when you’re invisible.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita experiences the vulnerability of being overlooked and the dangers that come with being unseen.
17. “Our stories are our weapons.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita understands the power of storytelling as a means to preserve history, share experiences, and inspire change.
18. “In silence, we become accomplices.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita reflects on the dangers of remaining silent in the face of injustice and the importance of speaking up.
19. “Sometimes you have to leave to find home.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita learns that the search for freedom and a sense of belonging may require leaving behind what is familiar.
20. “When the world is crazy, you have to find the calm in yourself.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita discovers the strength within herself to navigate the chaos and uncertainty of the world around her.
21. “The greatest power is in knowledge.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita recognizes the transformative power of knowledge and education in breaking free from oppressive systems.
22. “The cost of freedom is never cheap.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita comes to understand that the fight for freedom often comes with great sacrifices.
23. “The struggle for freedom is worth it.” – Anita de la Torre
Anita’s journey ultimately teaches her the value and worthiness of fighting for freedom, no matter the obstacles.
FAQs about “Before We Were Free”
Q: What is the central theme of “Before We Were Free”?
A: The central theme of “Before We Were Free” is the pursuit of freedom and the impact of political oppression on individuals and families.
Q: Is “Before We Were Free” based on true events?
A: While “Before We Were Free” is a work of fiction, it is inspired by the author’s own experiences growing up in the Dominican Republic under the Trujillo regime.
Q: What age group is “Before We Were Free” suitable for?
A: “Before We Were Free” is generally recommended for readers aged 12 and above, as it deals with mature themes of political oppression.
Q: Why is “Before We Were Free” an important book?
A: “Before We Were Free” sheds light on a lesser-known historical period and provides insight into the effects of dictatorship on ordinary people, making it an important book for understanding history and promoting empathy.
Q: Has “Before We Were Free” won any awards?
A: Yes, “Before We Were Free” has received numerous accolades, including the Pura Belpré Award for Latino/Latina author and illustrator in children’s books.
In conclusion, “Before We Were Free” is a powerful novel that explores the themes of freedom, courage, and the cost of living under political oppression. The quotes highlighted in this article offer a glimpse into the thought-provoking and impactful narrative created by Julia Alvarez. By delving into the struggles and triumphs of Anita, readers are reminded of the importance of fighting for freedom and the power of resilience in the face of adversity.