Oranges are Not the Only Fruit

by: Jeanette Winterson

Important Quotations Explained

She had never heard of mixed feelings. There were friends and there were enemies.

This quote comes from the beginning of the first chapter of the book, Genesis, when Jeanette is describing her mother's character. This character description lays the backdrop for the future conflict that Jeanette will have with her mother's personality. Jeanette's moth is a woman who sees the world only in black and white terms with no layers in between. For her there are friends and there are enemies. A person is holy or evil. She does not allow room for people to be non-religious but still good people. For Jeanette's mother if you are not saved by Christ then you are a heathen. Such dualistic views of the world have deeply been impressed upon Jeanette. Yet as she grows older and becomes a lesbian, she falls into a middle ground. Homosexuality falls outside of the assumed heterosexual binary. Winterson criticizes the mother's perspective and suggests in her novel that the world does not exist in a series of binaries.