The word appears 118 times.
The racism in this book is overwhelming. And it doesn't matter who you are talking about, there are only 2 kinds of people - whites and the others - niggers, eight-balls, shines, hebes, kikes, mics, etc. And women are either virgins or whores.. and a possible lesbian should be killed outright. The characters in this book are authentic, and despicable. If you are not disgusted in parts by this, then there is something seriously wrong with you. That said, this book is a fantastically written look at a slice of American history that we should not deny or try to cover up. It is good to examine our ugliness so we don't repeat it - as we inevitably do (Only now it is Muslims and Hispanics)
Towards the end, Studs begins to wonder why he has never been happy, and why his life has never worked out, but he still can't let go of the hate that defined his whole life.
Chicago was nothing like it used to be, when over around St. Ignatius Church and back of the yards where white men's neighborhoods, and Prairie Avenue was the tony street where all the swells lived, lie Fields, who had a mansion at Nineteenth and Prairie, and Pullman at Eighteenth and Clumet, and Fairbanks and Potter Palmer and the niggers and the whores had not crossed around Twenty-second Street,
When he'd bought this building, Wabash Avenue had been a nice, decent, respectable street for self-respecting men to live with his family. But now, well, the niggers and kikes were getting in, and they were dirty, and you didn't know but what, even in broad daylight, some nigger moron might be attacking his girls. He'd have to get them away from the eight balls and tinhorn kikes.
Reilly had been a poor teamster, and he had gotten up before dawn on mornings whe the cold would almost make icicles on your fingers in not time, and she had gotten up and got his breakfast, and fed th horses, and both of them had worked like niggers in those days back of the yards before their children were born.
"Sometimes he will get the livin' hell ounded out of him," Dan Donoghue said.
"Yeah," said Studs.
"He deserves all he gets, thought the little degenerate," said Dan.
"He should have been a nigger or a hebe instead of Irish, " said O'Brien. Johnny added that Hennessey had even been caught in a basement with his half-wit sister.
"You got to put pepper on the tails of the eight-balls. They're lazy as you make 'em. A Jew and a nigger. Never trust 'em farther than you can see 'em. But some niggers are all right. These southern ones that know their place are only lazy. These northern bucks are dangerous. They are getting to spry here in Chicago, and one of these days we're gonna have a race riot, and then all the Irish from back of the yards will go into the black belt, and there'll be a lot of niggers strung up on lampposts with their gizzards cut out ... My kid here wanted to wrestle in that tournament over at Carter Playground last winter, and I'da let him, but he'd of had to wrestle with niggers. So I made him stay out. You got to keep these smokes in their place and lot let 'em get gay."
She said she knew Lucy needed a sort of roughneck to carry her books when she went to high school, because Lucy was going to St. Elizabeth's, and it was a nigger neighborhood, and he could protect her, and walk home with her through the nigger neighborhood.
"What beach'll we go to?" asked Studs.
"Fify-first Street," said Kenny.
"Ain't there a lot of Jews there?" asked Studs.
"Where ain't there kikes? They're all over. You watch. First it's the hebes, and then it's the niggers that's gonna overrun the south side," said Kenny.
"And then where ull a white man go to? Asked Suds.
"He'll have to go to Africa or .. Jew-rusalem," said Kenny.
Kenny san Solomon Levi with all the sheeny motions, and it was funny, because Kenny was funny, all right, and could always make a guy laugh.
Now Lady how do you expect me to ever to get finished, and Lady if I go runnin' for Turkish Trophies for every on that wants 'em... Well, sir! Ha! Ha! She shuts up like a clam. An then I always gotta deal with these nigger maids dat keep tellin' for you to wipe yer feet. I said, give uh nigger an inch, and dey want a hull mile.
A good looking Negress passed.
"Barney, how'd you like that?" Studs asked.
"Never mind, punk! ... And listen, the niggers ain't as bad as the Irish," said Barney.
"Where's there a difference? Asked Percentage.
"Well, if you ask me, Barney is a combination of eight ball, mick and shonicker," said McArdle
The it would be his turn to laugh. She was so low that she wouldn't even bar a cockroach, a nigger, or a flea. She was nearer the ground than a snake.
If the guys had come, they could have ganged the dinges. niggers didn't have any right in a white man's park, the sooner they were taught that they didn't, the better off they'd be. He looked around; no chickens (girls).
Andy Le Gare tried to tell everyone that in close fighting they should kick the niggers in the shins. Tommy Doyle said the niggers were never going to forget the month of July, 1919. Studs said they ought to hang every nigger in the city to the telephone poles, and let them swing there in the breeze. Benny Tate said the every white man killed in the riots, ten black apes ought to be massacred. Red said that the niggers had caught Clacky Merton, from Sixty-first Street, down in the black belt, and slashed his throat from ear to ear, and plenty of niggers had to be slashed to pay for the death of Clacky. They lamented that Clacky was a victim of the riots. Fat Malloy started telling how the Regan Colts were marching into the black belt and knocking off niggers. Andy said well the Fifty-eight Street guys were going to do the same thing.Young Horn Buckford suddenly appeared and breathlessly said that there was a gang of nigger on Wabash Avenue. ... They sang, shouted, yelled defiance at the houses, and threw bricks into the windows of houses where they thought niggers lived. They were joined by other groups, men and kids. The streets were like avenues of the dead. They only caught a ten-year old Negro boy. They took his clothes off, and burned them. They burned his tail with lighted matches, made him step on lighted matches, urinated on him, and sent him running off naked with a couple of slaps in the face.
Back around the corner at six o'clock; Suds and Red talked of how they would get a bigger gang together after supper, and go north of Garfield Boulevard until they found niggers. They described what they would do to them. They walked down to el station and bought a paper. The deadlines said that with the militia out, peace and order were being restored in the riot-stricken black belt. They cursed, and said they would get the niggers in spite of even the United States Army.
They talked about what the boys from Fifty-eight Street had done in the race riots last month, and she acted horrified, but Studs guessed it was only put on. They told each other that the niggers needed a couple more riots.
None of the guys were around. He noticed, too, that no niggers were in sight. He spied a lonesome-looking chicken sitting up towards the front. Maybe she wanted to be picked up. He sat near her, and kept giving her the eye. She was pretty, a baby-faced blond. She sat impassive. He could just go up and talk to her, say let's take a walk, and get her over to the wooded island. And he'd go back to the poolroom, and tell the lads what a lay he had, describing how it all went off.
"But, father, this neighborhood is deteriorating all the time. The best people in it are moving over to Hyde Park or out in South Shore. Soon I'll be ashamed to admit I live around here."
"Young lady, you're wrong. The niggers will be run raggedy if the ever try to get past Wabash Avenue. This is a good, decent neighborhood full of respectable people, and it will always be so.
"I just see you boys shoveling out dimes like you were John D.," Phillip sharply retorted.
"Studs, it's nigger date night tonight. It has a date," Tommy Doyle shouted, passing along. "It wouldn't do a lot of you guys any harm if you invested a dime in a second-hand joke book," Phillip said, walking off.
For Abraham Clarkson had been bombed before, and he had stated defiantly that he would move from his home to another one only in a casket. It was nerve for the nigger to say that and go on ruining a white man's neighborhood, living amongst people who didn't want him.
"I'm turning in and getting some sleep."
He went towards home. At the corner of Fifty-eight and Michigan, he saw a nigger and his black girl ahead, walking arm in arm. He thought of how in this new spring time, the new Studs Lonigan would be walking about in the evening with her on his arm. Suddenly, he sneered, thinking that the goddamn niggers had their guts, invading a white man's neighborhood, and sooner or later they'd have to be run out.
... commenting on a black singer dressed in high-slit gown...
Slug whispered that he'd take a baby like that on, even if her skin was purple. Red Kelly countered that he personally had too much self-respect to go monkeying around with low niggers. Barney Keefs sneered that Red was BS, and that it was always the same, a guy wanted a woman, and everything else was crap.
Their faces went tight with hostility every time a white girl went by with a Negro. They saw one beautiful blond girl with a coal black, sweating nigger, and they said nothing, only because there were too many shines in the place. Slug said what the hell he was going to dance too. He left, and soon he was socking with a black girl. .... He thought the jazz would drive him nuts; the thick-lipped singing and shouts of niggers grated until he was ready to jump. And the place was like the stockyards; he thought they ought to use a little perfume anyway. He called over a nigger waiter, paid his share of the bill and got up while the dance was still going hot. As he walked towards the exit, he noticed the snottyily suspicious glances he got from niggers, and Christ, how he'd have loved to have gotten a couple of them out on Fifty-eight Street. At the door, there were for dicks, their faces drawn, waiting, as if they were expecting trouble. As he left, two white girls entered, laughing, with loudly-dressed buck niggers. The doorman told him to come again. Yes, he thought, he'd like to come with a machine gun.
"Crime or no crime, those kike real-estate bastards are getting in, and what for? I'll tell you: to sell to niggers, that's what for."
"That will be a crime. We ought to do something about it."
"I suppose now she's settled down."
"Yes, she's working downtown," Studs said.
"My Helen was saying she saw the O'Brien boy downtown, and he was saying the niggers were getting in there. Isn't it a shame?"
"There's some on Wabash Avenue."
"You know we sold our building and moved over to Michigan. There's niggers on Wabash now," he said, trying to make conversation.
"Yes, isn't is awful .. those niggers."
"I suppose there'll have to be more race riots to put then where they belong," he said.
"That would be just perfectly horrible .. but exciting."
"You know, boys, the goddamn shines are getting to frisky coming around here," Red said.
"You Irish oughtn't to kick. You and the niggers can both look up to a snake," Keefe said.
"I came around the boathouse last Saturday, and it stunk with niggers. You know, it's so bad, that a decent girl can't walk alone here anymore for fear a nigger might rape her. They ruin the park. When they come over here, you need a gas-mask if you want to stick around... Why you can tell they are inferior to the white race by the clothes they wear. Those goddamn loud clothes, wearing pearls with their bell bottoms, purple suits, pink shirts. They're worse than the Polacks. You know, you can tell and inferior race by the way they dress. The Polacks and Dagoes, the niggers are the same, only the niggers are the lowest. That's why we ought to get the boys together some night and clean every nigger out of the park. They're all yellow and if we do it once, they won't come back.
Doyle said that it always turned out the same way. If you give a nigger an inch, he always took a mile.
Slug said he had nothing against him, and liked the fellow who took nobody's sass. Red said he couldn't understand and Irishman being a nigger-lover. Studs supposed that the guy would let a nigger jazz his sister.
"That's worse than having a nigger. Think of it, a girl comes from a self-respecting family, with a decent old man and old lady. She had a decent home, a chance for and education, and opportunity to meet decent fellows, and to become a fine, decent girl. And what does she do, but become worse than the hustler of a nigger pimp? Why girls like that ought to be made to live with pigs," Red proclaimed.
"That jew moocher," sneered Studs.
"Yeah," said Slug.
"Say, he's the kind, his kind, that sold out Wabash Avenue to the niggers. If it wasn't for the Jews, this would be a better neighborhood than it is. But anyway, with the new church, it will pick up, " said Red.
"I like Father Shannon," Les said, while Red frowned at some passing niggers. "He seems to be working wonders with you hoodlums," Red said.
"Yes, but not with you hoodlums. The mission is for sinners and louses like you, guys, not me. I'm holy," Barney said; Red frowned as two more niggers passed the corner.
"If we had a pastor like Father Shannon, instead of Gilly, that mightn't have happened. He wouldn't be the kind to build a beautiful new church, and then let his parish go to the dogs. He'd have seen to it that the good parishioners stayed, and that the niggers were kept out. He'd have organized things like vigilance committees to prevent it," Red said.
"That's what my old man has been saying," Studs said.
"It was the Jews who did it. And he would have settled those profiteering shonnickers. It's a lousy thing, if you ask me, Jews ruining a neighborhood just to make money like Judas did. It's all greed all over again, the greed of the Jews," Kelly said.
"For Christ sake, Fat, where you been?" asked Studs.
"Hell, I moved out of this nigger neighborhood," Fat Malloy answered.
"We're all getting old, Mary; it won't be long before we're under the sod."
"Patrick, don't talk like that, please."
"Goddamn those niggers!" Lonigan exploded.
"I guess it was the Jew real-estate dealers who did it," said Studs, believing he ought to say something.
Studs walked over to the window. He saw two nigger kids twisted together, wrestling in the street. He remembered how, coming home from St. Patrick's every night, they used to wrestle and rough-house like that...
"Well, I wish they'd come. OOOOh, I can't stand the sight or thought of this place and this neighborhood anymore. OOOH, to think of all those greasy dirty niggers around. Every time I pass them on the street I shudder," Fran said.
"Yeah, they look like apes, and, God, you can smell them a mile away," said Lonigan.
"Dad, they're coming in here, aren't they?" said Studs.
"Yeah, a shine offered the highest price for the building, so I let it go. But he paid, the black skunk."
"Well, they can have it, only I hate to see how this building and the neighborhood will look in about six more months," said Lonigan.
"Yeah, I guess the damn niggers are dirty," said Studs.
"I know it. Did you ever look out of the window if the elevated train when you go downtown and see what kind of places they live in. God Almighty, such dirt and filth," said Lonigan.
"Sometimes, I almost think that niggers haven't got a soul," said Mrs. Lonigan.
"All the old people are gone, huh?"
"Doyle, he still lives around here. Oh, one or two."
"They hang around?"
Sammy had to turn to sell a racing sheet to a nigger.
Studs walked towards Prairie Avenue. In the cigar store on the right-hand side of the elevated station, he saw a group of niggers hanging around, talking with a sweaty brown-looking, sporty bastard who leaned forwards on the counter. He saw pearly white teeth flash in a coal black smile. niggers passed him on the sidewalk. They nearly all looked alike, as if they were the same person. The corner, their old corner, looked like Thirty-fifth and State. A gang of young niggers were gathering around the fireplug talking, kidding, laughing. He tried to frown. Suppose they should get snotty or try to mob him? He suddenly thought of himself fighting ten or twelve niggers, standing with his back to the wall, swinging, laying them down one after the other with a punch, as guys sometimes did in the movies.
He went into the drug store. There was a pretty, white girl at the cashier's desk. He walked over to the soda fountain to get a coke. But the niggers used the same glasses. His stomach almost turned as he thought of himself using the same glass as a nigger did. He bought a package of cigarettes, and stepped outside.
A handsome, light brown, well-built girl passed. Studs looked at her. So did the Negro lads on the corner. He wondered if she was a whore. He'd like to have her. He remembered how a couple of times he'd been to nigger can houses, but the girls he'd had had been too black and bony. One like that was nice, even if she was black.
He hoped to Jesus Christ she'd get fat as a pig, have ten kids, and a husband who'd kick the Christ out of her, does her, and blow out. He looked at the house, with lights behind shaded windows. niggers now lived in it, and the house was probably stinking because niggers always stunk, and it was dirty because niggers were dirty.
... Studs is walking in his old neighborhood...
A buck nigger came along. Studs took his hands out of his pockets and tried to look tough. The nigger passed, singing.
... Studs is walking in his old neighborhood...
He moved on past a row of apartment buildings. In his time, they'd looked new and modern, with lawns and trimmed bushes in front of them. Now they seemed old. The niggers, all over again, running down the neighborhood. ... He walked on. Niggers living in all these buildings, living their lives, jazzing, drinking, and having their kids, and flashing razors at each other.
... Studs is walking in his old neighborhood...
A street car passed. An old nigger in overalls walked wearily by him. He looked to his left at the new church, standing now huge and high. He remembered how the parish talked of it. And it was a goddamn beautiful church, and what was it for now - a handful of black bastards. He turned and walked away. At Sixtieth and Calumet, he paused to watch two young nigger kids wrestling. Three classily-dressed young shines minced past him. He walked right along behind them.
The guy, whoever he was, who had left hijm like that, in the cold and snow, he was no pal. Hell, he wouldn't have done that even to a nigger or a dog, he whined to himself.
... some men discussing politics...
Thompson is dead politically, and he deserves it. He's a demagogue, and he goes campaigning down in the black belt, kissing nigger babies and playing up to the shines. Any man who does that ought to be run out of town on a rail. The jigs in Chicago are dynamite, and if they ever break loose, it's going to be hell to pay. And right now the dirty nigger-loving Reds are playing up to them to stir them up, and Thompson, kissing nigger babies, is playing right into their hands." "Let the niggers just get tough. We'll hang them up on every telephone pole in the city, just the same as we did in 1919," Studs said.
"I agree with you Studs. We ought to give them the same kind of medicine they get in the South and not even let them sit next to a white man in a street car, let alone vote," Red said.
"I don't like niggers none, either," Muggay said.
"And my brother Joe who collects rents on her buildings on South Park, he can't hardly get a red cent out of the niggers living in it. Half the time he doesn't even try because what's the use?"
"As I was going to say, though, Bill, I'm sorry you missed Amos and Andy. You would have laughed yourself sick at them." Lonigan's belly rolled as he laughed. "They're so much like darkies. Not the fresh northern niggers, but the genuine real southern darkies, the good niggers. They got them down to a T, lazy, happy-go-lucky, strutting themselves out in titles and with long names and honors, just like in real life." Studs wished that his father would finish, so he could read the paper without distraction. "Amos and Andy got their taxicab now." He laughed again. "But it won't run. Andy elects himself president, and calls their cab The Fresh Air Taxicab Company of America. And Amos, just like a nigger, he wants to be a president."
"Nice supper, Marie," Phil said with false joviality to the plump colored maid, who, with a surly frown on her face, had commenced removing the supper dishes.
"Phil, I'll have to get rid of her. She's entirely to surly for a nigger maid," Loretta said in a low but exasperated voice....
"Yes, we'll have to economize. And Phil, dear, I'm going to watch Marie. I've been letting her do the buying and I'm sure she is stealing from me. You can never trust a nigger."
"Those damn Reds bellyaching and agitating in times like these when everybody ought to get right to it to help keep the ship afloat! And, Bill, I also heard the Reds were egging on the niggers in the black belt. That's sheer dynamite."
"We won't be able to come swimming here, though, this summer," he said, point at the low gray pavilion of rough-edged stone which housed the Jackson Park beach. "It's become the hunkies community center her now. I came here on day last summer, and I tell you I didn't think there were as many hunkies and polacks in the world as I saw here."
"Yes, isn't it too bad? And there was trouble here last summer with niggers trying to go swimming along here. Ugh. Think of it, going with niggers," she shuddered.
"Seventy-third Street beach is much better, but every year you see more noisy Jews there. Pretty soon there won't be a beach in Chicago left for a white man."
Studs laughed at the crazy bastard. A Bolshevik. He supposed the guy was a nigger lover, too. Well, let the Bolsheviks get tough. They'd be taken care of, just the same as the shines were during the race riots of '19.
...Studs sees a beautiful black woman walking down the street...
Should he follow her even if she was a nigger? He looked after her slender brown silken legs, and he was tempted to whistle, to get up and follow her. Hell, she might just be a whore, because he guessed most black girls were hustlers anyway. And even if she wasn't, a dark skinned baby ought to fall all over herself with joy if a white guy propositioned her. But kissing one of them. Ugh... He eagerly watched her disappear from sight, and he saw her naked in his mind. Jesus, he was pretty lousy getting so het up over a dark-skinned wench. And still, brother, with or black, she had it. But here he was engaged to a decent girl like Catherine, and wanting a nigger. Lousy...
... Studs sexual advances toward a married woman were soundly rejected...
That goddamn.... And wasn't he glad he hadn't tossed his dough away for a pig like that! She was lower than a nigger whore or pansy. Still, she was a neat trick. That dirty... There wasn't any word filthy enough to describe her.
"Say, you know what those dirty Reds are doing now? They're exciting the niggers down in the Black Belt, Telling them they're as good as white men and they can have with women. I tell you, Bill, Someday the American people have got to wake up and take things into their own hands."
... Reading a newspaper..
Police blame Reds for recent eviction riots in the Black Belt. Reds must be nigger-lover. Mayor says city finances in dangerous condition. That was bad, all right.
... as always, Studs is looking to blame all his life's troubles on other people...
Because the Jews hadn't been satisfied by themselves, but they sold their property to the niggers. Trickery, Jew trickery had ruined this neighborhood. And the trickery of the Jew bankers was causing the depression and ruining him.
He stood on the church steps looking at the drab row of three-story brick apartment houses across the street. Looked old, not worth much. Probably run down inside, too. nigger buildings now.
... still standing on the church steps....
He smiled at a neatly dressed Negro boy of about twelve who passed him singing, and he thought that, golly, the eight-balls sure could be happy. He stared while a slender, pretty mulatto girl wheeled a baby buggy along the sidewalk below him. nigger babies were cute little dicks. But they grew up into black dangerous buck niggers who flashed razors. He nodded, bewildered by his observation.
... now Studs is driving through his old neighborhood...
Turning north again, he saw by a sign in one of the windows that the bank of Abraham Clarkson was closed. Served Clarkson right because Clarkson was the shine who, in the old days, had refused to move from the neighborhood when no one had wanted a nigger in it, depressing real estate values and living among white people where he didn't belong. He wouldn't get out, even though his house kept getting bombed. Lonigan suddenly remembered reading in the paper that Clarkson had been indicted. Serve him right. A banker and a nigger.
There had been riots, started by the Reds, in the Black Belt when niggers had been evicted. But that poor family. Losing their home, four children , too. Poor fellow, must be out of work.
... Studs is wondering why h can't be happy... but he is still filled with hate...
Just an unhappy old man, and even these people, anarchistic Reds, communists, niggers, hunkies, foreigners, left-handed turkeys, even they seemed happier than he.
"With times so bad, and people so poor, this stuff is dynamite, especially with them getting the niggers in it. If the police allow these people to carry on like this, there might be a revolution."
He drove off. Thieving little bastards, stealing a man's spare tire right off the car! When they grew up, a man's life and property wouldn't be safe. What was Chicago coming to, what with the kids like the ones who snatched his tire, the Reds and the niggers? He shook his head sadly, thinking of how the shines had already ruined so much of the south side. Had it been so good to free the slaves? Of course, all men should be free, but a nigger was a nigger. You couldn't trust them and they didn't know their place as it was.
... close to the end of his own life, he starts thinking about happiness.. but still..
All these south-bound automobiles on Michigan. People in them going home. Where the men and women in all these automobiles happy? What did they have on their minds? For-rent signs in these fine buildings on Michigan. Property ruined by the niggers. And a closed bank at Thirty-ninth Street. God, how long could it all go on. And Bill? He had a feeling that Bill was dead. He didn't want to go home to the house where his done had died. Unthinkingly, he drove his car more slowly.