Fiction quotes 151 to 200

  1. ‘It was the sort of idea that might easily decondition the more unsettled minds among the higher castes- make them lose their faith in happiness as the Sovereign Good and take believing, instead, that the goal was somewhere beyond, somewhere outside the present human sphere that the purpose of life was not the maintenance of well-being, but some intensification and refining of consciousness, some enlargement of knowledge.’ Mustapha Mond
  2. ‘We haven’t any use for old things. Particularly when they’re beautiful. Beauty’s attractive, and we don’t want people to be attracted by old things. We want them to like the new ones.’ Mustapha Mond
  3. ‘The world’s stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get. They’re well off; they’re safe; they’re never ill; they’re not afraid of death; they’re blissfully ignorant of passion and old age; they’re plagued with no mothers or fathers; they’ve got no wives, or children, or lovers to feel strongly about; they’re so conditioned that they practically can’t help behaving as they ought to behave. And if anything should go wrong, there’s soma.’ Mustapha Mond
  4. ‘But that’s the price we have to pay for stability. You’ve got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We’ve sacrificed the high art. We have the feelies and the scent organ instead.’ Mustapha Mond
  5. ‘Stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contended has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.’ Mustapha Mond
  6. ‘That’s another item in the cost of stability. It isn’t only art that’s incompatible with happiness; it’s also science. Science is dangerous; we have to keep it most carefully chained and muzzled.’ Mustapha Mond
  7. ‘They say that it is the fear of death and of what comes after death that makes men turn to religion as they advance in years.’ Mustapha Mond
  8. ‘The religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason become less troubled in its working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to be absorbed…that phenomenal existence is no more bolstered up by impressions from within or from without, we feel the need to lean on something that abides, something that will never play us false – a reality, an absolute and everlasting truth.’ Mustapha Mond
  9. ‘God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness. That’s why I have to keep these religious books locked up in the safe…’ Mustapha Mond
  10. ‘Civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In our society, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. When there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended – there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren’t any wars nowadays.’ Mustapha Mond
  11. ‘But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin…All right then, I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.’ The Savage
  12. ‘I’d rather you shot at tin cans with your air-rifle in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit them, but remember that it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ Atticus Finch, to his children (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)
  13. ‘If you want the rainbow, you have to deal with the rain…’ Hazel Grace (The Fault in Our Stars by John Green)
  14. ‘First of all, if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’ Atticus
  15. ‘…But do one thing for me if you will: you just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let them get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change…it’s a good one, even if it resists learning.’ Atticus Finch
  16. ‘Sometimes, we have to make the best of things, and the way we conduct ourselves when the chips are down.’ Atticus Finch
  17. ‘They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions. But before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.’ Atticus Finch
  18. ‘I certainly am a nigger-lover. I do my best to love everybody…I’m hard put, sometimes – baby, it’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you. So don’t let Mrs Dubose get you down. She has enough troubles of her own.’ Atticus Finch
  19. ‘I wanted you to see something about her – I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.’ Atticus Finch
  20. ‘You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women – black or white. But that is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire.’ Atticus Finch
  21. ‘…Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal…We know that all men are not created equal in the sense that some people would have us believe – some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they’re born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others – some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of most men.’ Atticus Finch
  22. ‘Our courts have their faults, as does every human institution, but in this country our courts are the greatest levellers, and in our courts all men are created equal.’ Atticus Finch
  23. ‘I know, and lots of them probably deserve it, too – but in the absence of eye witnesses there’s always a doubt, sometimes only the shadow of a doubt. The law says reasonable doubt. But I think a defendant’s entitled to the shadow of a doubt. There’s always the possibility, no matter how improbable, that he’s innocent.’ Atticus Finch
  24. ‘As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it – whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.’ Atticus Finch
  25. ‘You’ve many more miles to go, son. A jury’s vote supposed to be secret. Serving on a jury forces a man to make up his mind and declare himself about something. Men don’t like to do that. Sometimes it’s unpleasant.’ Atticus Finch
  26. ‘That’s what I thought too when I was your age. If there’s one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other?’ Jem
  27. ‘I can’t live one way in town and another way in my home.’ Atticus Finch
  28. ‘Two penguins in the penguin house were a little bit different. One was named Roy, and the other named Silo. Roy and Silo were both boys. But they did everything together. They bowed to each other. And walked together. They sang to each other and swam together. Wherever Roy went, Silo went too. They didn’t spend much time with the girl penguins and the girl penguins didn’t spend much time with them’ Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson (And Tango makes three)
  29. ‘Roy and Silo taught Tango how to sing for them when she was hungry. They fed her food from their beaks. They snuggled her in their nest at night. Tango was the very first penguin in the zoo to have two daddies.’ Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson (And Tango makes three)
  30. Atticus Finch captivated me with his measured, intelligent espousal of the importance of equality, democracy and justice for all.
  31. ‘Well educated, diligent and genial, Finch also has the courage of his convictions. Not only does he defend African American Tom Robinson, wrongly accused of raping a white woman – much to the chagrin of the majority of his fellow (white) townsfolk – he then sits outside the jailhouse to protect Robinson from a lynch mob.’
  32. ‘The worst form of execution: You stake a guy out on an anthill in the desert. He’s facing upward, and you put honey all over his balls and pecker, and you cut off his eyelids so he has to stare at the sun till he dies.’ Weary (Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut)
  33. ‘Earthlings must be the terrors of the Universe! If other planets aren’t now in danger from Earth, they soon will be. So tell me the secret so I can take it back to Earth and save us all: How can a planet live at peace?’ Billy, to aliens on planet Tralfamadoria (Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut)
  34. ‘There once was an onion man who wanted to shed his layers to unveil the core of his soul and being. What does it mean to be an onion, he wondered? He started shedding the layers. After a while, he grew lighter and more hopeful on finding the truth. Soon, he realized that he was left with nothing. The layers were all he had. Rephrased and Extracted from ‘Unapologetically Insane Tales by Zed Yeo’
  35. ‘If you put a puny ant on your torso, it could never understand that the entire terrain that it is crawling on is actually a human being. You are too huge for the ant to notice, too big to be perceived. It will only see your torso as a landscape upon which it stands.’ The Maker (Unapologetically Insane Tales by Zed Yeo)
  36. If he could just understand us…then perhaps we could come to some kind of arrangement with him… extracted from ‘Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka’
  37. ‘The Boy and the Grass (Story 3): A boy asked the grass how it felt to be green. The grass didn’t respond. The boy was disappointed but didn’t give up trying to talk to it. He kept on trying. Finally, when he was a grown man, the grass replied. One day, the grass said ‘Moo!’ That was the only response it could give. ‘Moo!’ was all the grass knew. Despite this, the boy continued talking to it and they formed an interesting, relationship for life. rephrased and extracted from ‘Unapologetically Insane Tales’ by Zed Yeo
  38. ‘The Boy and the Grass (Story 2): A boy asked the grass how it felt to be green. The grass didn’t respond. The boy was disappointed but didn’t give up trying to talk to it. He kept on trying. Finally, when he was a grown man, the grass replied. The grass was impressed by his persistence. The grass admitted that he learnt English from the boy. They remained best friends for the rest of their lives. rephrased and extracted from ‘Unapologetically Insane Tales by Zed Yeo’
  39. ‘The Boy and the Grass (Story 1): A boy asked the grass how it felt to be green. The grass didn’t respond. The boy was disappointed but didn’t give up trying to talk to it. He kept on trying. This went on for his lifetime till he died. The grass still didn’t speak. rephrased and extracted from ‘Unapologetically Insane Tales by Zed Yeo’
  40. ‘The glad game was to just find something about everything to be glad about – no matter what it was…You see, when you’re hunting for the glad things, you sort of forget the other kind.’ – Pollyanna
  41. ‘You see, lots of times; you get so used to looking for something to be glad about. And most generally there is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it.’ – Pollyanna
  42. ‘I like to do almost everything that’s LIVING. Of course I don’t like the other things very well – sewing, and reading out loud, and all that. But THEY aren’t LIVING. Aunt Polly says they’re “learning to live”.’ – Pollyanna
  43. ‘People radiate what is in their minds and in their hearts. If a man feels kindly and obliging, his neighbours will feel that way, too, before long. But if he scolds and scowls and criticizes – his neighbors will return scowl for scowl, and add interest! When you look for the bad, expecting it, you will get it. When you know you will find the good – you will get that!’ – Reverent Paul
  44. ‘I don’t think I shall ever want to ride anywhere anymore. It will be so good just to walk. Oh, I’m so glad! I’m glad for everything. Why, I’m glad now I lost my legs for a while, for you never, never know how perfectly lovely legs are till you haven’t got them.’ – Pollyanna
  45. ‘You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.’ Alaska
  46. ‘Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future…If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless.’ Miles Halter
  47. ‘We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. ‘Miles Halter
  48. ‘The problem, dear professor, is that you wanted someone who could be made intelligent but still be kept in a cage and displayed when necessary to reap the honours you seek. The hitch is that I’m a person.’ Charlie Gordon (Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes)
  49. ‘I don’t think it’s right to make you pass a test to eat.’ Charlie Gordon, reflecting on the treatment of the lab mouse Algernon (Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes)
  50. ‘Lawyers are all right, but they don’t appeal to me. They’re all right if they go around saving innocent guys’ lives. But you don’t do that kind of stuff if you’re a lawyer. All you do is make a lot of money and play golf and play bridge and buy cars and drink Martinis and look like a hot-shot. And besides, even if you did go around saving guy’s lives, how would you know if you did it because you really wanted to save guys’ lives, or because you did it because you really wanted to be a terrific lawyer, with everyone slapping you on the back and congratulating you in court when the trial is over, the reporters and everybody, the way it is in the movies? How would you know you weren’t being a phony? The trouble is, you wouldn’t.’ Holden Caulfield


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