A Doll's House Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to A Doll's House. Here they are! All 200 of them:

You have never loved me. You have only thought it pleasant to be in love with me.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
For love is no part of the dreamworld. Love belongs to Desire, and Desire is always cruel.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
You see, there are some people that one loves, and others that perhaps one would rather be with.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
I must make up my mind which is right – society or I.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Helmer: I would gladly work night and day for you. Nora- bear sorrow and want for your sake. But no man would sacrifice his honor for the one he loves. Nora: It is a thing hundreds of thousands of women have done.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
HELMER: But this is disgraceful. Is this the way you neglect your most sacred duties? NORA: What do you consider is my most sacred duty? HELMER: Do I have to tell you that? Isn't it your duty to your husband and children? NORA: I have another duty, just as sacred. HELMER: You can't have. What duty do you mean? NORA: My duty to myself.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
I believe that before all else I am a reasonable human being, just as you are--or, at all events, that I must try and become one.
Henrik Ibsen (The Doll's House: A Play)
But no man would sacrifice his honor for the one he loves." "It is a thing hundreds of thousands of women have done.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
The only reason people die, is because EVERYONE does it. You all just go along with it. It's RUBBISH, death. It's STUPID. I don't want nothing to do with it.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
NORA: I must stand on my own two feet if I'm to get to know myself and the world outside. That's why I can't stay here with you any longer.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Mrs LINDE: When you've sold yourself once for the sake of others, you don't do it second time.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Love belongs to Desire. And Desire is always Cruel. -Old Man
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
It is an anxious, sometimes a dangerous thing to be a doll. Dolls cannot choose; they can only be chosen; they cannot 'do'; they can only be done by.
Rumer Godden (The Dolls' House)
Fictions are merely frozen dreams, linked images with some semblance of structure. They are not to be trusted, no more than the people who create them.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
With me you could have been another person.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
I believe that before anything else I'm a human being -- just as much as you are... or at any rate I shall try to become one. I know quite well that most people would agree with you, Torvald, and that you have warrant for it in books; but I can't be satisfied any longer with what most people say, and with what's in books. I must think things out for myself and try to understand them.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
It was a smooth silvery voice that matched her hair. It had a tiny tinkle in it, like bells in a doll's house. I thought that was silly as soon as I thought of it.
Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe, #1))
Eww," Jack said, and then giggled. "Yeah, and a Paris Hilton doll that had an optional brain."Aphrodite raised her brow at him. "Don't go all crazy. There are some things even Paris Hilton can't buy.
P.C. Cast (Burned (House of Night, #7))
When I lost you, it was as if all the solid ground dissolved from under my feet. Look at me; I'm a half-drowned man now, hanging onto a wreck.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa's doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
I'm also like a half-drowned woman on a wreck. No one to suffer with; no one to care for.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
And Desire smiles, and forgets, for Desire is a creature of the moment.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
Chantal is having a relationship with a sentence. Just one of those things. A chance meeting that grew into something important for the both of them.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
We don't have a clue what's really going down, we just kid ourselves that we're in control of our lives while a paper's thickness away things that would drive us mad if we thought about them for too long play with us, and move us around from room to room, and put us away at night when they're tired, or bored.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
I'll risk everything together with you.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
There are people one loves and others one likes to talk to
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
War is being reminded that you are completely at the mercy of death at every moment, without the illusion that you are not. Without the distractions that make life worth living.
Francesca Lia Block (House of Dolls)
Anyone who's sold herself for somebody else once isn't going to do it again.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
How can I hold you close enough?
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
I should say I am far more cleverer than any of the people who put me here. As a matter of fact, I could leave any time I wanted. It's only a doll house after all. Anyway, I don't mind. I like dolls. Particularly the live ones.
Grant Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth)
You arranged everything according to your own taste, and so I got the same tastes as you - or else I pretended to. I am really not quite sure which - I think sometimes the one and sometimes the other.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
[Y]et, I wondered why Marshall did not at least attempt a kiss. In many ways, his treatment of me reminded me of the way I had behaved toward the doll that Mamma Mae had given me as a child. I favored it so that I had refused myself of the joy of playing with it, daring to love it only with my eyes. But in doing so, I had denied myself its very purpose.
Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House)
[From below comes the noise of a door slamming.]
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
I am afraid, Torvald, I do not exactly know what religion is. ... When I am away from all this, and am alone, I will look into that matter too. I will see if what the clergyman said is true, or at all events if it is true for me.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
The Chelsea was like a doll’s house in the Twilight Zone, with a hundred rooms, each a small universe.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
Nora: It's true Torvald. When I lived at home with Papa, he used to tell me his opinion about everything, and so I had the same opinion. If I thought differently, I had to hide it from him, or he wouldn't have liked it. He called me his little doll, and he used to play with me just as I played with my dolls. Then I came to live in your house - Helmer: That's no way to talk about our marriage! Nora [undisturbed]: I mean when I passed out of Papa's hands into yours. You arranged everything to suit your own tastes, and so I came to have the same tastes as yours.. or I pretended to. I'm not quite sure which.. perhaps it was a bit of both -- sometimes one and sometimes the other. Now that I come to look at it, I've lived here like a pauper -- simply from hand to mouth. I've lived by performing tricks for you, Torvald. That was how you wanted it. You and Papa have committed a grievous sin against me: it's your fault that I've made nothing of my life.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
If there is a moral to this part of the story, and I distrust morals in the same way that I distrust beginnings, it is simply this: know that with which you deal.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
Nora: Torvald, don't look at me like that! Torvald: Can't I look at my richest treasure? At all that beauty that's mine, mine alone-completely and utterly.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
HELMER:—To forsake your home, your husband, and your children! You don’t consider what the world will say. NORA:—I can pay no heed to that. I only know what I must do. HELMER:—It is exasperating! Can you forsake your holiest duties in this world? NORA:—What do you call my holiest duties? HELMER:—Do you ask me that? Your duties to your husband and your children. NORA:—I have other duties equally sacred. HELMER:—Impossible! What duties do you mean? NORA:—My duties towards myself. HELMER:—Before all else you are a wife and a mother. NORA:—That I no longer believe. I think that before all else I am a human being, just as much as you are—or at least I will try to become one.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Our house is old, and noisy, and full. when we moved into it we had two children and about five thousand books; I expect that when we finally overflow and move out again we will have perhaps twenty children and easily half a million books; we also own assorted beds and tables and chairs and rocking horses and lamps and doll dresses and ship models and paint brushes and literally thousands of socks.
Shirley Jackson (Life Among the Savages)
However wretched I may feel, I want to prolong the agony as long as possible. All my patients are like that. And so are those who are morally diseased..
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
From the sky, everything looked fake. The buildings were doll houses. The cars were Matchbox racers. People scuttled about, but they weren’t really people anymore. Their little lives meant absolutely nothing from this altitude.
P.S. Baber (Cassie Draws the Universe)
There is another version of the tale. That is the tale the women tell each other, in their private language that the men-children are not taught, and that the old men are too wise to learn. And in that version of the tale perhaps things happened differently. But then, that is a women's tale, and it is never told to men.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
The first thing I hate is called a Russian doll. It holds a smaller version of itself inside it, and another inside that and so on. How awful. They are prisoners. I imagine them all screaming in the dark, unable to move or speak. The doll’s face is broad and blankly smiling. It looks so happy to be holding its children captive.
Catriona Ward (The Last House on Needless Street)
As a young child I had Santa and Jesus all mixed up. I could identify Coke or Pepsi with just one sip, but I could not tell you for sure why they strapped Santa to a cross. Had he missed a house? Had a good little girl somewhere in the world not received the doll he’d promised her, making the father angry?” (p.3)
Augusten Burroughs (You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas)
As a young child I had Santa and Jesus all mixed up. I could identify Coke or Pepsi with just one sip, but I could not tell you for sure why they strapped Santa to a cross. Had he missed a house? Had a good little girl somewhere in the world not received the doll he'd promised her, making the father angry?
Augusten Burroughs (You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas)
Do you know what Freud said about dreams of flying? It means you're really dreaming about having sex." "Indeed? Tell me, then, what does it mean when you dream about having sex?
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
I doubt I'm any wiser than I was five hundred years back. I'm older. I've been up, and been down, and been up again. Have I learned aught? I've learned from my mistakes, but I've had more time to commit more mistakes.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
In the beginning… But of course we never see the beginning. We come in in the middle, after the lights have gone down, and try to make some sense of the story so far. Whisper to our neighbours “Who’s he? Who’s she? Have they met each other before?” We get by.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
It was love at first touch rather than at first sight, for I had met her several times before without experiencing any special emotions; but one night as I was seeing her home, something quaint she had said made me stoop with a laugh and lightly kiss her on the hair - and of course we all know of that blinding blast which is caused by merely picking up a small doll from the floor of a carefully abandoned house: the soldier involved hears nothing; for him it is but an ecstatic soundless and boundless expansion of what had been during his life a pinpoint of light in the dark center of his being. And really, the reason we think of death in celestial terms is that the visible firmament, especially at night (above our blacked-out Paris with the gaunt arches of its Boulevard Exelmans and the ceaseless Alpine gurgle of desolate latrines), is the most adequate and ever-present symbol of that vast silent explosion' The time, the place, the torture. Her fan, her gloves, her mask. I spent that night and many others getting it out of her bit by bit, but not getting it all. I was under the strange delusion that first I must find out every detail, reconstruct every minute, and only then decide whether I could bear it. But the limit of desired knowledge was unattainable, nor could I ever foretell the approximate point after which I might imagine myself satiated, because of course the denominator of every fraction of knowledge was potentially as infinite as the number of intervals between the fractions themselves.
Vladimir Nabokov (The Collected Stories)
Torvald: I would gladly work night and day for you, Nora--bear sorrow and want for your sake. But no man would sacrifice his honour for the one he loves. Nora: But hundreds of thousands of women have done!
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
The ties that bind a parent to a child can never be broken; however awful their relationship might be, those ties just are.
M.J. Arlidge (The Doll's House)
Life was small but good. (15)
Francesca Lia Block (House of Dolls)
For love is no part of the dreamworld. Love belongs to Desire, and Desire is always cruel
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
There can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
it was a tremendous pleasure to sit there working and earning money. It was like being a man.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
When he was nearly thirty-six, my brother Jem got his heart badly broken when his fourth marriage fell apart, mostly because his wife never could get used to Boo, who lived with them and creeped her out by making little wooden dolls of her and putting them in the hollow tree out front.
Silas House
The Beauties” by Anton Chekhov, “The Doll’s House” by Katherine Mansfield, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” by J. D. Salinger, “Brownies” or “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” both by ZZ Packer, “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried” by Amy Hempel, “Fat” by Raymond Carver, “Indian Camp” by Ernest Hemingway.
Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)
There are three rules for living here. One, never leave your windows open after dark, even if it’s hot. Two, no dolls in the house. And three, never, ever go by the house in the woods. That’s where Beryl lives.
K.R. Alexander (The Collector)
Mary and Laura clung tight to their rag dolls and did not say anything. The cousins stood around and looked at them. Grandma and all the aunts hugged and kissed them and hugged and kissed them again, saying good-by.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #3))
When I was at home with papa, he told me his opinion about everything, and so I had the same opinions; and if I differed from him I concealed the fact, because he would not have liked it. He called me his doll-child, and he played with me just as I used to play with my dolls.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
One day you woke up, looked around and started saying things like, “It was better back then,” or, “Music nowadays is just noise,” and when the words leave your lips, you’re stunned, thinking, man, when did this old guy appear?
John Hunt (Doll House)
I must stand quite alone, if I am to understand myself and everything about me.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
What good would that ever do me if you were gone from this world, as you say? Not the slightest.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Zar nije neobično dražesna? To je bilo mišljenje i čitavog društva. Ali užasno je tvrdoglavo - to slatko malo stvorenje.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
[Gospođa Linde:]Čovek mora da živi, gospodine doktore. [Rank:]Da, uobičajeno je shvatanje da je to tako neophodno.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
The best lies, the most convincing, are the ones we tell ourselves. And no one can lie better better than an alcoholic. He
John Hunt (Doll House)
لن تفقدوني طويلاً، فالراحلون سرعان ما ينطوون في زوايا النسيان.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
The beauty myth of the present is more insidious than any mystique of femininity yet: A century ago, Nora slammed the door of the doll's house; a generation ago, women turned their backs on the consumer heaven of the isolated multiapplianced home; but where women are trapped today, there is no door to slam. The contemporary ravages of the beauty backlash are destroying women physically and depleting us psychologically. If we are to free ourselves from the dead weight that has once again been made out of femaleness, it is not ballots or lobbyists or placards that women will need first; it is a new way to see.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
It means the world's about as solid and as reliable as a layer of scum on the top of a well of black water which goes down forever, and there are things in the depths that I don't even want to think about. It means more than that. It means that we're just dolls. We don't have a clue what's really going down, we just kid ourselves that we're in control of our lives while a paper's thickness away things that would drive us mad if we thought about them for too long play with us, and move us around from room to room, and put us away at night when they're tired, or bored.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
Did I hear you say that you had no intention of ever dying?" "Um. Yeah. Yeah. That's right. It's a mug's game. I won't have any part of it." "Then you must tell me what it's like. Let us meet here again, Robert Gadling. In this tavern of the White Horse. In a hundred years.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
Mary was bigger than Laura, and she had a rag doll named Nettie. Laura had only a corncob wrapped in a handkerchief, but it was a good doll. It was named Susan. It wasn't Susan's fault that she was only a corncob. Sometimes Mary let Laura hold Nettie, but she did it only when Susan couldn't see.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1))
And so the house came to be haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money! There must be more money! The children could hear it all the time though nobody said it aloud. They heard it at Christmas, when the expensive and splendid toys filled the nursery. Behind the shining modern rocking-horse, behind the smart doll's house, a voice would start whispering: "There must be more money! There must be more money!" And the children would stop playing, to listen for a moment. They would look into each other's eyes, to see if they had all heard. And each one saw in the eyes of the other two that they too had heard. "There must be more money! There must be more money!
D.H. Lawrence (The Rocking-Horse Winner)
The door was opening again. The seer does not like to dwell upon what he saw entering the room: he says it might be described as a frog - the size of a man - but it had scanty white hair about its head. It was busy about the truckle-beds, but not for long. The sound of cries - faint, as if coming out of a vast distance - but, even so, infinitely appalling, reached the ear. ("The Haunted Doll's House")
M.R. James (Collected Ghost Stories)
There were so many dolls in there, waiting for her. Somewhere, in a less rational part of her brain, Louise felt that nothing could look so human and exist for so long without starting to develop thoughts on its own. What did the dolls think about?
Grady Hendrix (How to Sell a Haunted House)
I wonder if someday Jack and I will have our own pram filled with tiny skeletons and rag dolls. The scuttle of little feet through the house. Skeleton boys tumbling down the spiral stairs; little rag doll girls with their threads coming loose, always needing their fingers and toes stitched back together. A perfectly grim little family.
Shea Ernshaw (Long Live the Pumpkin Queen: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas)
Laura had only a corncob wrapped in a handkerchief, but it was a good doll. It was named Susan.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House in the Big Woods)
Laughter's all the damned thing's fit for.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Odlazak uvijek mora biti efektan.
Henrik Ibsen
A Doll’s House is about money, about the way it turns locks.
Elizabeth Hardwick (Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature (New York Review Books Classics))
Maybe it was his imagination, but a few of the dolls seemed like they had turned in his direction. Staring with painted eyes. Suddenly, sleep seemed impossible.
Will Wight (House of Blades (Traveler's Gate, #1))
wanted to find bottom and stay there, where the pain wasn’t as sharp, where it didn’t have teeth.
John Hunt (Doll House)
Weird, to hold your heart in your arms and know you must let it go.
John Hunt (Doll House)
thought I was done with you punk? Not by a long shot. You and me are welded together at the soul.
John Hunt (Doll House)
Maybe what she said to Mark made more sense. She wanted a friend. One to love her despite her scars, the ones on the surface and the deeper ones beneath.
John Hunt (Doll House)
When I lost you, it was as if all the solid ground went from under my feet. Look at me now—I am a shipwrecked man clinging to a bit of wreckage.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
We of the endless are the servants of the living -- we are not their masters. We exist because they know, deep in their hearts, that we exist.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
I have existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Starling House makes me think of an underfed pet or a broken doll, a thing unloved by the person who promised to love it best.
Alix E. Harrow (Starling House)
There are three rules for living here. One, never leave your windows open after dark, even if it's hot. Two, no dolls in the house. And three, never, ever go by the house in the woods.
K.R. Alexander (The Collected (The Collector, #2))
As soon as your fear was over--and it was not fear for what threatened me, but for what might happen to you--when the whole thing was past, as far as you were concerned it was exactly as if nothing at all had happened. Exactly as before, I was your little skylark, your doll, which you would in future treat with doubly gentle care, because it was so brittle and fragile.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Only In Sleep Only in sleep I see their faces, Children I played with when I was a child, Louise comes back with her brown hair braided, Annie with ringlets warm and wild. Only in sleep Time is forgotten -- What may have come to them, who can know? Yet we played last night as long ago, And the doll-house stood at the turn of the stair. The years had not sharpened their smooth round faces, I met their eyes and found them mild -- Do they, too, dream of me, I wonder, And for them am I too a child?
Sara Teasdale (Flame and Shadow)
From another, distanced mind, I saw myself sitting on the breezeway, surrounded by two white clapboard walls, a mock orange bush and a clump of birches and a box hedge, small as a doll in a doll's house.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Nevertheless the severance is rather casual and it drops a stain on our admiration of Nora. Ibsen has put the leaving of her children on the same moral and emotional level as the leaving of her husband and we cannot, in our hearts, asssent to that. It is not only the leaving but the way the play does not have time for suffering, changes of heart. Ibsen has been too much a man in the end. He has taken the man's practice, if not his stated belief, that where self-realization is concerned children shall not be an impediment.
Elizabeth Hardwick (Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature (New York Review Books Classics))
Ridcully sat in horrified amazement. He’d always enjoyed Hogswatch, every bit of it. He’d enjoyed seeing ancient relatives, he’d enjoyed the food, he’d been good at games like Chase My Neighbor up the Passage and Hooray Jolly Tinker. He was always the first to don a paper hat. He felt that paper hats lent a special festive air to the occasion. And he always very carefully read the messages on Hogswatch cards and found time for a few kind thoughts about the sender. Listening to his wizards was like watching someone kick apart a doll’s house.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
Dolls cannot choose; they can only be chosen; they cannot ‘do’; they can only be done by; children who do not understand this often do wrong things, and then the dolls are hurt and abused and lost; and when this happens dolls cannot speak, nor do anything except be hurt and abused and lost. If you have any dolls, you should remember that.
Rumer Godden (The Dolls' House)
He said, I won't have one of those things in the house. It gives a young girl a false notion of beauty, not to mention anatomy. If a real woman was built like that she'd fall on her face. She said, If we don't let her have one like all the other girls she'll feel singled out. It'll become an issue. She'll long for one and she'll long to turn into one. Repression breeds sublimation. You know that. He said, It's not just the pointy plastic tits, it's the wardrobes. The wardrobes and that stupid male doll, what's his name, the one with the underwear glued on. She said, Better to get it over with when she's young. He said, All right but don't let me see it. She came whizzing down the stairs, thrown like a dart. She was stark naked. Her hair had been chopped off, her head was turned back to front, she was missing some toes and she'd been tattooed all over her body with purple ink, in a scrollwork design. She hit the potted azalea, trembled there for a moment like a botched angel, and fell. He said, I guess we're safe.
Margaret Atwood (The Female Body)
So what's your doll's name?" Boo asked me. "Barbie," I said. "All their names are Barbie." "I see," she said. "Well, I'd think that would get boring, everyone having the same name." I thought about this, then said, "Okay, then her name is Sabrina." "Well, that's a very nice name," Boo said. I remember she was baking bread, kneading the dough between her thick fingers. "What does she do?" "Do?" I said. "Yes." She flipped the dough over and started in on it from the other side. "What does she do?" "She goes out with Ken," I said. "And what else?" "She goes to parties," I said slowly. "And shopping." "Oh," Boo said, nodding. "She can't work?" "She doesn't have to work," I said. "Why not?" "Because she's Barbie." "I hate to tell you, Caitlin, but somebody has to make payments on that town house and the Corvette," Boo said cheerfully. "Unless Barbie has a lot of family money." I considered this while I put on Ken's pants. Boo started pushing the dough into a pan, smoothing it with her hand over the top. "You know what I think, Caitlin?" Her voice was soft and nice, the way she always spoke to me. "What?" "I think your Barbie can go shopping, and go out with Ken, and also have a productive and satisfying career of her own." She opened the oven and slid in the bread pan, adjusting its position on the rack. "But what can she do?" My mother didn't work and spent her time cleaning the house and going to PTA. I couldn't imagine Barbie, whose most casual outfit had sequins and go-go boots, doing s.uch things. Boo came over and plopped right down beside me. I always remember her being on my level; she'd sit on the edge of the sandbox, or lie across her bed with me and Cass as we listened to the radio. "Well," she said thoughtfully, picking up Ken and examining his perfect physique. "What do you want to do when you grow up?" I remember this moment so well; I can still see Boo sitting there on the floor, cross- legged, holding my Ken and watching my face as she tried to make me see that between my mother's PTA and Boo's strange ways there was a middle ground that began here with my Barbie, Sab-rina, and led right to me. "Well," I said abruptly, "I want to be in advertising." I have no idea where this came from. "Advertising," Boo repeated, nodding. "Okay. Advertising it is. So Sabrina has to go to work every day, coming up with ideas for commercials and things like that." "She works in an office," I went on. "Sometimes she has to work late." "Sure she does," Boo said. "It's hard to get ahead. Even if you're Barbie." "Because she wants to get promoted," I added. "So she can pay off the town house. And the Corvette." "Very responsible of her," Boo said. "Can she be divorced?" I asked. "And famous for her commercials and ideas?" "She can be anything," Boo told me, and this is what I remember most, her freckled face so solemn, as if she knew she was the first to tell me. "And so can you.
Sarah Dessen (Dreamland)
The night before, Belle had stayed up past her bedtime, making a few changes to her doll with her father's tools. She couldn't help it. Inspiration had struck. Her father always told her that when inspiration strikes, you must grab it.
Walt Disney Company (Belle's Discovery (Disney Princess Beginnings, #2))
Gust used to explain the whole world that way: the mind as a house living in the house of the body, living in the house of a house, living in the larger house of the town, in the larger house of the state, in the houses of America and society and the universe. He said these houses fit inside one another like the Russian nesting dolls they bought for Harriet.
Jessamine Chan (The School for Good Mothers)
I am coming through the barriers you have erected in this mind. I am coming, though the way be ardous and strange. Nothing will stop me. As I travel, I admire the craftsmanship in the construction of this maze, admire the traps and pitfalls they have wrought. You have learned well, my servants. To force the child to construct these barriers insides its mind, in its effort to escape the physical world; to build an island of dream alone and untouched by the true Dreaming... This takes skill. My admiration does not lessen my anger. I am dream. I am coming.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
She repeated what her mother had told me, that she had been moved when she heard me playing as she passed the house. She had seen me on the street a few times, too, and begun to worship me. She actually used that word: worship. It made me turn bright red. I mean, to be 'worshiped' by such a beautiful little doll of a girl! I don't think it was an absolute lie, though. I was in my thirties already, of course, and I could never be as beautiful and bright as she was, and I had no special talent, but I must have had something that drew her to me, something that was missing in her, I would guess. Which must have been what got her interested in my to begin with. I believe that now, looking back. And I'm not boasting.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
The Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House smiled, tiny and triumphant. Then she kneeled into Gideon’s arms. Gideon stumbled, sick with terror, kneeling them both down to the ground as Harrow lay like a broken rag doll. She forgot her sword, forgot everything as she cradled her used-up adept. She forgot the wrecked ligaments in her sword arm, her messed-up knee, the cups of blood she’d lost, everything but that tiny, smoldering, victorious smile.
Tamsyn Muir (Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1))
What I wish I could do now is go back in time and shout this: Why don’t boys get blamed or held accountable when they put their hands on girls’ bodies? Why are girls the ones who have to look or act a certain way so they don’t “entice” the boys? Aren’t boys capable of doing the right thing, even if a girl is wearing a swimsuit, or leggings, or a crop top … even RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM? And if they’re not, why do we let those boys out of the house?
Jen Doll (Unclaimed Baggage)
Have you ever seen Russian nesting dolls?” Thrown by the questions, she opened her eyes. Why would he suddenly speak about a child’s toy? “I own a few of them.” “Then you must understand that undressing you is like playing with one of those dolls. I open one to find another beneath it. I took away your gown to find you are still as clothed as you were a moment ago and I wonder how many more layers I will have to work through to get down to you—the doll I’m searching for.
Dominique Eastwick (The Duke and the Virgin (1Night Stand; House of Lords, #2))
Only in sleep I see their faces, Children I played with when I was a child, Louise comes back with her brown hair braided, Annie with ringlets warm and wild. Only in sleep Time is forgotten– What may have come to them, who can know? Yet we played last night as long ago, And the doll-house stood at the turn of the stair. The years had not sharpened their smooth around faces, I met their eyes and found them mild– Do they, too, dream of me, I wonder, And for them am I, too, a child?
Sara Teasdale (The Collected Poems)
Nothing is a masterpiece - a real masterpiece - till it's about two hundred years old. A picture is like a tree or a church, you've got to let it grow into a masterpiece. Same with a poem or a new religion. They begin as a lot of funny words. Nobody knows whether they're all nonsense or a gift from heaven. And the only people who think anything of 'em are a lot of cranks or crackpots, or poor devils who don't know enough to know anything. Look at Christianity. Just a lot of floating seeds to start with, all sorts of seeds. It was a long time before one of them grew into a tree big enough to kill the rest and keep the rain off. And it's only when the tree has been cut into planks and built into a house and the house has got pretty old and about fifty generations of ordinary lumpheads who don't know a work of art from a public convenience, have been knocking nails in the kitchen beams to hang hams on, and screwing hooks in the walls for whips and guns and photographs and calendars and measuring the children on the window frames and chopping out a new cupboard under the stairs to keep the cheese and murdering their wives in the back room and burying them under the cellar flags, that it begins even to feel like a religion. And when the whole place is full of dry rot and ghosts and old bones and the shelves are breaking down with old wormy books that no one could read if they tried, and the attic floors are bulging through the servants' ceilings with old trunks and top-boots and gasoliers and dressmaker's dummies and ball frocks and dolls-houses and pony saddles and blunderbusses and parrot cages and uniforms and love letters and jugs without handles and bridal pots decorated with forget-me-nots and a piece out at the bottom, that it grows into a real old faith, a masterpiece which people can really get something out of, each for himself. And then, of course, everybody keeps on saying that it ought to be pulled down at once, because it's an insanitary nuisance.
Joyce Cary (The Horse's Mouth)
Helmer: To desert your home, your husband and your children! And you don‘t consider what people will say! Nora: I cannot consider that at all. I only know that it is necessary for me. Helmer: It‘s shocking. This is how you would neglect your most sacred duties. Nora: What do you consider my most sacred duties? Helmer: Do I need to tell you that? Are they not your duties to your husband and your children? Nora: I have other duties just as sacred. Helmer: That you have not. What duties could those be? Nora: Duties to myself. Helmer: Before all else, you are a wife and mother. Nora: I don‘t believe that any longer. I believe that before all else I am a reasonable human being, just as you are — or, at all events, that I must try and become one. I know quite well, Torvald, that most people would think you right, and that views of that kind are to be found in books; but I can no longer content myself with what most people say, or with what is found in books. I must think over things for myself and get to understand them.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Fru Linde: "Man må jo leve, herr doktor." Rank: "Ja det er jo den almindelige mening at det skal være så nødvendig.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Once there was a little doll. Her name was Edith. She lived in a nice house and had everything she needed except somebody to play with. She was very lonely!
Dare Wright (The Lonely Doll)
On the other side, apartment blocks—intact except for the fronts, which had been completely blown off, revealing the rooms and furniture within—stood like giant doll’s houses.
Rhidian Brook (The Aftermath)
Helmer: Nem voltál boldog? Nóra: Nem; csak vidám.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
She wanted to die. It was the one decision left to her, one she could contribute to, at least one thing she had control over. How could she get it done?
John Hunt (Doll House)
Phone convos and clever texts are fine for a while but not forever. She needed that human touch.
John Hunt (Doll House)
Two broken people. Maybe they could help each other. Maybe they could heal each other.
John Hunt (Doll House)
Helmer: But no man would sacrifice his honour for the one he loves. Nora: It is a thing hundreds of thousands of women have done.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
أنا ارى الناس صنفين .. صنف تعشقه المرأة، وصنف تحب أن تتجاذب معه أطراف الحديث.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Repeat after me. Doug does not want a perfectly trained doll.
Tara Crescent (The House of Pain)
The Chelsea was like a doll’s house in the Twilight Zone, with a hundred rooms, each a small universe. I wandered the halls seeking its spirits, dead or alive.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
KROGSTAD: The law cares nothing about motives. NORA: Then it must be a very foolish law.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
And then she woke up." I suppose there are worse endings.
Neil Gaiman
Y entonces ella despertó." Siempre he odiado que una historia acabe así. Hace que me sienta engañada.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House)
All the dolls have to go,” Louise said. “Just to be safe.” “Shit,” Mark said. “There’s a lot of dolls.
Grady Hendrix (How to Sell a Haunted House)
I’m not sure if puppets and dolls are the same, theologically speaking, but eBay is rife with them.
Grady Hendrix (How to Sell a Haunted House)
I’m not as smart as you, but what I do know is that when spooky fucking haunted dolls start writing messages on the wall, you should get the fuck out.
Grady Hendrix (How to Sell a Haunted House)
March 6, 1961 I remembered a party in a house outside of Ann Arbor. There was a jazz band -- piano, bass, drums, and sax -- playing in one of the large rooms. A heavy odor of marijuana hung in the air. The host appeared now and then looking pleased, as if he liked seeing strangers in every room, the party out of his control. It wasn't wild, but with a constant flow of people, who knows what they're doing. It became late and I was a little drunk, wandering from one part of the house to another. I entered a long hall and was surprised by the silence, as if I had entered another house. A girl at the other end of the hall was walking toward me. I saw large blue eyes and very black hair. She was about average height, doll-like features delicate as cut glass, extremely pretty, maybe the prettiest girl I'd ever seen. When she came up to me I took her in my arms and kissed her. She let it happen. We were like creatures in a dream. Holding her hand, I drew her with me and we passed through rooms where people stood about, and then left the house. As we drove away, she said her name was Margo. She was a freshman at the university, from a town in northern Michigan. I took her home. It was obvious she'd never gone home with a man. She didn't seem fearful, only uncertain, the question in her eyes: "What happens next?" What happened next was nothing much. We fell asleep in our clothes. I wasn't the one to make her no different from everyone.
Leonard Michaels (Time out of Mind: The Diaries of Leonard Michaels, 1961-1995)
Nóra: ...Azt hiszem, hogy legelsősorban ember vagyok, éppen úgy, mint te - vagy mindenesetre meg kell kísérelnem, hogy az legyek. Jól tudom, hogy a legtöbben neked adnak igazat, Torvald; valami olyasmi van a könyvekben is. De én nem törődhetek vele tovább, hogy a többség mit mond, s mi van a könyvekben. Magamnak kell a dolgokat átgondolnom, s tisztába jönnöm velük.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
NORA: No; only merry. And you were always so friendly and kind to me. But our house has been nothing but a nursery. Here I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I used to be papa's doll-child. And my children were, in their turn, my dolls. I was exceedingly delighted when you played with me, just as children were whenever I played with them. That has been our marriage, Torvald.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Oh," he said again and picked up two petals of cherry blossom which he folded together like a sandwich and ate slowly. "Supposing," he said, staring past her at the wall of the house, "you saw a little man, about as tall as a pencil, with a blue patch in his trousers, halfway up a window curtain, carrying a doll's tea cup-would you say it was a fairy?" "No," said Arrietty, "I'd say it was my father." "Oh," said the boy, thinking this out, "does your father have a blue patch on his trousers?" "Not on his best trousers. He does on his borrowing ones." 'Oh," said the boy again. He seemed to find it a safe sound, as lawyers do. "Are there many people like you?" "No," said Arrietty. "None. We're all different." "I mean as small as you?" Arrietty laughed. "Oh, don't be silly!" she said. "Surely you don't think there are many people in the world your size?" "There are more my size than yours," he retorted. "Honestly-" began Arrietty helplessly and laughed again. "Do you really think-I mean, whatever sort of a world would it be? Those great chairs . . . I've seen them. Fancy if you had to make chairs that size for everyone? And the stuff for their clothes . . . miles and miles of it . . . tents of it ... and the sewing! And their great houses, reaching up so you can hardly see the ceilings . . . their great beds ... the food they eat ... great, smoking mountains of it, huge bogs of stew and soup and stuff." "Don't you eat soup?" asked the boy. "Of course we do," laughed Arrietty. "My father had an uncle who had a little boat which he rowed round in the stock-pot picking up flotsam and jetsam. He did bottom-fishing too for bits of marrow until the cook got suspicious through finding bent pins in the soup. Once he was nearly shipwrecked on a chunk of submerged shinbone. He lost his oars and the boat sprang a leak but he flung a line over the pot handle and pulled himself alongside the rim. But all that stock-fathoms of it! And the size of the stockpot! I mean, there wouldn't be enough stuff in the world to go round after a bit! That's why my father says it's a good thing they're dying out . . . just a few, my father says, that's all we need-to keep us. Otherwise, he says, the whole thing gets"-Arrietty hesitated, trying to remember the word-"exaggerated, he says-" "What do you mean," asked the boy, " 'to keep us'?
Mary Norton (The Borrowers (The Borrowers, #1))
She had parlor house written all over her--a blonde pig who looked more like a whore than twenty-five whores, with a face like an overgrown doll's and a come-on smile as cold as a polar bear's feet.
Eugene O'Neill
I believe that before all else I am a reasonable human being, just as you are--or, at all events, that I must try and become one. I know quite well, Torvald, that most people would think you right, and that views of that kind are to be found in books; but I can no longer content myself with what most people say, or with what is found in books. I must think over things for myself and get to understand them.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Do you realize that a middle-class couple, one archaeologist, one dolls' expert, can't move from their house because ancient spirits are blocking them in? It's a reasonable sort of day's experience, isn't it?
Robert Holdstock (The Fetch)
EVERY NIGHT BEFORE I went to sleep, I would conjure the image of the actor George Burns in my head and ask him for the things I wanted most in life: new dolls, a best friend, and for my house to burn down. Religion was not a solidly formed concept for me, but I had seen a movie about God once; he looked like George Burns and was in the habit of causing trouble and granting wishes. I accepted him wholeheartedly as my savior.
Kimberly Rae Miller (Coming Clean)
that the doll's house belonged to said: "I will get a doll dressed like a policeman!" BUT the nurse said: "I will set a mouse-trap!" SO that is the story of the two Bad Mice. But they were not so very, very naughty
Beatrix Potter (A Collection of Beatrix Potter Stories)
I realize it has everything to do with Pupkin. I saw him move. He tried to kill you. Those dolls in the bathroom wrote that note on the wall, but the one who’s behind everything is that creepy little puppet.” It suddenly sounded
Grady Hendrix (How to Sell a Haunted House)
A dead parent is a tricky kind of ghost. If you can make it into more like a doll, putting it in the real house and clothes and such that they had, it helps you to picture them as a person instead of just a person-shaped hole in the air.
Barbara Kingsolver (Demon Copperhead)
Adora changed her color scheme from peach to yellow. She promised me she'd take me to the fabric store so I can make new coverings to match. This dollhouse is my fancy." She almost made it sound natural, my fancy. The words floated out of her mouth sweet and round like butterscotch, murmured with just a tilt of her head, but the phrase was definitely my mother's. Her little doll, learning to speak just like Adora. "Looks like you do a very good job with it," I said, and motioned a weak wave good-bye. "Thank you," she said. Her eyes focused on my room in the dollhouse. A small finger poked the bed. "I hope you enjoy your stay here," she murmured into the room, as if she were addressing a tiny Camille no one could see.
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
Nóra: Más feladat az, amit előbb meg kell oldanom. Magamat kell megnevelnem. S te nem vagy az a férfi, aki segíthetsz ebben. Ezt egyedül kell megcsinálnom. (…) Ha meg akarom érteni magamat, s az egész környezetemet, egészen egyedül kell állnom.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Mastodon railed on a while longer, making air quotes with his stubby doll fingers whenever mentioning the name Diego, and thundering that this was exactly the bloodthirsty breed of invader that the White House had been warning the nation about.
Carl Hiaasen (Squeeze Me (Skink #8))
The fact is that, unless we’re with friends or family, we’re all like talking dolls, endlessly repeating the same trite and tiresome lines: “Hello, how are you?” “Hot enough out there?” “Don’t work too “hard!” I’m often misunderstood at my supermarket in Sussex, not because of my accent but because I tend to deviate from the script.   Cashier: Hello, how are you this evening? Me: Has your house ever been burgled? Cashier: What? Me: Your house—has anyone ever broken into it and stolen things
David Sedaris
And there, in small warm pools of lamplight, you could see what Leo Auffmann wanted you to see. There sat Saul and Marshall, playing chess at the coffee table. In the dining room Rebecca was laying out the silver. Naomi was cutting paper-doll dresses. Ruth was painting water colors. Joseph was running his electric train. Through the kitchen door, Lena Auffman was sliding a pot roast from the steaming oven. Every hand, every head, every mouth made a big or little motion. You could hear their faraway voices under glass. You could hear someone singing in a high sweet voice. You could smell bread baking, too, and you knew it was real bread that would soon be covered with real butter. Everything was there and it was working. . . . "Sure," he murmured. "There it is." And he watched with now-gentle sorrow and now-quick delight, and at last quiet acceptance as all the bits and pieces of this house mixed, stirred, settled, poised, and ran steadily again. "The Happiness Machine," he said. "The Happiness Machine.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
She liked to imagine that the trees were reaching up to grab a piece of the sky, then they would curl themselves into a ball and sleep through the winter on a bed of four-hundred-thread-count Egyptian cotton, until spring, when they would doll up for the season’s next ball.
Joseph Cassara (The House of Impossible Beauties)
I went to my room and put some water on my hair, but you can't really comb a crew cut or anything. Then I tested to see if my breath stank from so many cigarettes and the Scotch and sodas I drank at Ernie's. All you do is hold your hand under your mouth and blow your breath up toward the old nostrils. It didn't seem to stink much, but I brushed my teeth anyway. Then I put on another clean shirt. I knew I didn't have to get all dolled up for a prostitute or anything, but it sort of gave me something to do. I was a little nervous. I was starting to feel pretty sexy and all, but I was a little nervous anyway. If you want to know the truth, I'm a virgin. I really am. I've had quite a few opportunities to lose my virginity and all, but I've never got around to it yet. Something always happens. For instance, if you're at a girl's house, her parents always come home at the wrong time – or you're afraid they will. Or if you're in the back seat of somebody's car, there's always somebody's date in the front seat – some girl, I mean – that always wants to know what's going on all over the whole goddam car. I mean some girl in front keeps turning around to see what the hell's going on. Anyway, something always happens. I came quite close to doing it a couple of times, though. One time in particular, I remember. Something went wrong, though – I don't even remember what any more. The thing is, most of the time when you're coming pretty close to doing it with a girl – a girl that isn't a prostitute or anything, I mean – she keeps telling you to stop. The trouble with me is, I stop. Most guys don't. I can't help it. You never know whether they really want you to stop, or whether they're just scared as hell, or whether they're just telling you to stop so that if you do go through with it, the blame'll be on you not them. Anyway, I keep stopping. The trouble is, I get to feeling sorry for them. I mean most girls are so dumb and all. After you neck them for a while, you can really watch them losing their brains. You take a girl when she really gets passionate, she just hasn't any brains. I don't know. They tell me to stop, so I stop. I always wish I hadn't, after I take them home, but I keep doing it anyway.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Another room was almost empty except for a doll’s house standing on a table in the middle of the floor; the doll’s house was an exact copy of the real house–except that inside the doll’s house a number of smartly dressed dolls were enjoying a peaceful and rational existence together...
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
In my parents’ house, nothing was ever thrown away. Clothes piled up, formed drifts that grew into mountains Philip, Baron, and I would climb and leap from. The heaps of garments filled the hallway and chased my parents out of their own bedroom, so that they eventually slept in the room that was once Dad’s office. Empty bags and boxes filled gaps in the clutter, boxes that once held rings and sneakers and clothes. A trumpet that my mother wanted to make into a lamp rested atop a stack of tattered magazines filled with articles Dad planned to read, near the heads and feet and arms of dolls Mom promised she would stitch together for a kid from Carney, all beside an endless heap of replacement buttons, some still in their individual glassine bags. A coffeemaker rested on a tower of plates, propped up on one end to keep coffee from flooding the counters.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
Nora. I know nothing but what the clergyman said, when I went to be confirmed. He told us that religion was this, and that, and the other. When I am away from all this, and am alone, I will look into that matter too. I will see if what the clergyman said is true, or at all events if it is true for me.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
They lost their sense of reality, the notion of time, the rhythm of daily habits. They closed the doors and windows again so as not to waste time getting undressed and they walked about the house as Remedios the Beauty had wanted to do and they would roll around naked in the mud of the courtyard, and one afternoon they almost drowned as they made love in the cistern. In a short time they did more damage than the red ants: they destroyed the furniture in the parlor, in their madness they tore to shreds the hammock that had resisted the sad bivouac loves of Colonel Aureliano Buendía and they disemboweled the mattresses and emptied them on the floor as they suffocated in storms of cotton. Although Aureliano was just as ferocious a lover as his rival, it was Amaranta ?rsula who ruled in that paradise of disaster with her mad genius and her lyrical voracity, as if she had concentrated in her love the unconquerable energy that her great-great-grandmother had given to the making of little candy animals. And yet, while she was singing with pleasure and dying with laughter over her own inventions, Aureliano was becoming more and more absorbed and silent, for his passion was self-centered and burning. Nevertheless, they both reached such extremes of virtuosity that when they became exhausted from excitement, they would take advantage of their fatigue. They would give themselves over to the worship of their bodies, discovering that the rest periods of love had unexplored possibilities, much richer than those of desire. While he would rub Amaranta ?rsula’s erect breasts with egg whites or smooth her elastic thighs and peach-like stomach with cocoa butter, she would play with Aureliano’s portentous creature as if it were a doll and would paint clown’s eyes on it with her lipstick and give it a Turk’s mustache with her eyebrow pencil, and would put on organza bow ties and little tinfoil hats. One night they daubed themselves from head to toe with peach jam and licked each other like dogs and made mad love on the floor of the porch, and they were awakened by a torrent of carnivorous ants who were ready to eat them alive.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Hesitantly, Grandfather, Douglas, and Tom peered through the large windowpane. And there, in the small warm pools of lamplight, you could see what Leo Auffmann wanted you to see. There sat Saul and Marshall, playing chess at the coffee table. In the dining room Rebecca was laying out the silver. Naomi was cutting paper-doll dresses. Ruth was painting water colors. Joseph was running his electric train. Through the kitchen door, Lena Auffmann was sliding a pot roast from the steaming oven. Every hand, every head, every mouth made a big or little motion. You could hear their faraway voices under the glass. You could hear someone singing in a high sweet voice. You could smell bread baking too, and you knew it was real bread that would soon be covered in real butter. Everything was there and it was working. Grandfather, Douglas, and Tom turned to look at Leo Auffmann, who gazed serenely through the window, the pink light on his cheeks. "Sure," he murmured," There it is." And he watched with now-gentle sorrow and now-quick delight, and at last quiet acceptance as all the bits and pieces of this house mixed, stirred, settled, poised, and ran steadily again. "The Happiness Machine," he said. "The Happiness Machine.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
She stood in the middle of my bedroom, gazing around with wide eyes. I hadn’t made my bed. In three years. And the walls were plastered with wakeboarding posters and snowboarding posters and surfing posters (I was going to learn to snowboard and surf someday, too). It all might have been overwhelming at first-not exactly House Beautiful. “Is this McGillicuddy’s room?” she asked. “What! No. McGillicuddy’s a neat freak. Also he collects Madame Alexander dolls.” She turned her wide eyes on me. “Kidding! I’m kidding,” I backtracked. Why did I have to make up stuff like that? My family was weird enough for real.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
In The Garret Four little chests all in a row, Dim with dust, and worn by time, All fashioned and filled, long ago, By children now in their prime. Four little keys hung side by side, With faded ribbons, brave and gay When fastened there, with childish pride, Long ago, on a rainy day. Four little names, one on each lid, Carved out by a boyish hand, And underneath there lieth hid Histories of the happy band Once playing here, and pausing oft To hear the sweet refrain, That came and went on the roof aloft, In the falling summer rain. 'Meg' on the first lid, smooth and fair. I look in with loving eyes, For folded here, with well-known care, A goodly gathering lies, The record of a peaceful life-- Gifts to gentle child and girl, A bridal gown, lines to a wife, A tiny shoe, a baby curl. No toys in this first chest remain, For all are carried away, In their old age, to join again In another small Meg's play. Ah, happy mother! Well I know You hear, like a sweet refrain, Lullabies ever soft and low In the falling summer rain. 'Jo' on the next lid, scratched and worn, And within a motley store Of headless dolls, of schoolbooks torn, Birds and beasts that speak no more, Spoils brought home from the fairy ground Only trod by youthful feet, Dreams of a future never found, Memories of a past still sweet, Half-writ poems, stories wild, April letters, warm and cold, Diaries of a wilful child, Hints of a woman early old, A woman in a lonely home, Hearing, like a sad refrain-- 'Be worthy, love, and love will come,' In the falling summer rain. My Beth! the dust is always swept From the lid that bears your name, As if by loving eyes that wept, By careful hands that often came. Death canonized for us one saint, Ever less human than divine, And still we lay, with tender plaint, Relics in this household shrine-- The silver bell, so seldom rung, The little cap which last she wore, The fair, dead Catherine that hung By angels borne above her door. The songs she sang, without lament, In her prison-house of pain, Forever are they sweetly blent With the falling summer rain. Upon the last lid's polished field-- Legend now both fair and true A gallant knight bears on his shield, 'Amy' in letters gold and blue. Within lie snoods that bound her hair, Slippers that have danced their last, Faded flowers laid by with care, Fans whose airy toils are past, Gay valentines, all ardent flames, Trifles that have borne their part In girlish hopes and fears and shames, The record of a maiden heart Now learning fairer, truer spells, Hearing, like a blithe refrain, The silver sound of bridal bells In the falling summer rain. Four little chests all in a row, Dim with dust, and worn by time, Four women, taught by weal and woe To love and labor in their prime. Four sisters, parted for an hour, None lost, one only gone before, Made by love's immortal power, Nearest and dearest evermore. Oh, when these hidden stores of ours Lie open to the Father's sight, May they be rich in golden hours, Deeds that show fairer for the light, Lives whose brave music long shall ring, Like a spirit-stirring strain, Souls that shall gladly soar and sing In the long sunshine after rain
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
You always carried your dolls in a carrying cloth as Indian mothers did, and as you yourself had been carried. You played house with the Indian children—something they had never thought of doing, but you showed them how to fix a little place in the hollow of a tree root and build a tiny fire in the middle of it, for, after all, the only really essential item in a house in the jungle was a fire. Were you conforming to social pressures in playing such “girl’s” games? Surely not. Surely it was because you were born a woman. There was in you a knowledge divinely given on which your imagination, more active than the Indians’, went to work.
Elisabeth Elliot (Let Me Be a Woman)
The feminine mystique, elevated by Freudian theory into a scientific religion, sounded a single, overprotective, life-restricting, future-denying note for women. Girls who grew up playing baseball, baby-sitting, mastering geometry -- almost independent enough, almost resourceful enough, to meet the problems of the fission-fusion era -- were told by the most advanced thinkers of our time to go back and live their lives as if they were Noras, restricted to the doll's house by Victorian prejudice. And their own respect and awe for the authority of science -- anthropology, sociology, psychology share that authority now -- kept them from questioning the feminine mystique.
Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique)
A onda kad polazimo, i kad stavljam šal oko tvojih nježnih, mladenačkih ramena - na taj divni zatiljak - onda zamišljam da si ti moja mlada nevjesta i da upravo dolazimo iz crkve, da te po prvi put vodim u svoj stan, da sam po prvi put nasamo s tobom - sasvim sam s tobom, ti mlada, ustreptala ljepotice! Čitavo ovo veče bila si moja čežnja.
Henrik Ibsen
Mara, remember how you kicked sand into that neighbor child’s eyes? I yelled at you and made you apologize in your best dress, and that night I cried by myself in the bathroom because you are Bad’s child as much as you are mine. Remember when you ran into the plate glass window and cut your arms so badly we had to drive you to the nearest hospital in the pickup truck, and when it was over Bad begged me to replace the backseat because of all the blood? Or when Tristan told us that he wanted to invite a boy to prom and you put your arm around him like this? Mara, remember? Your own babies? Your husband with his Captain Ahab beard and calloused hands and the house you bought in Vermont? Mara? How you still love your little brother with the ferocity of a star; an all-consuming love that will only end when one of you collapses? The drawings you handed us as children? Your paintings of dragons, Tristan’s photographs of dolls, your stories about anger, his poems about angels? The science experiments in the yard, blackening the grass to gloss? Your lives sated and[…]
Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties: Stories)
It’s hard to feel alone when you’re me, sometimes. Sometimes even the houses crowd me in. I can imagine the people in them, still sleeping, or making breakfast, or dressing for work. It’s hard to feel alone when you’re me, when you can imagine the throbbing of blood through each of them and you know the way each of them breaks, like dolls lined up on a shelf.
Katherine Ewell (Dear Killer)
My house has one integral living space and I am sitting on the couch facing the TV, while she is perched on a stool at the breakfast bar in the kitchen, my laptop open in front of her. We have adopted these same positions so many times over the years, it’s like we have worn a groove in time. I imagine us suspended here for ever, like tiny figures in a doll’s house.
Tammy Cohen (When She Was Bad)
Don’t even pretend you’re normal, don’t even pretend you belong. She couldn’t see herself sitting at a table in a coffee shop while people around you talked of their ‘first world’ problems like they mattered. Like they were problems. They couldn’t comprehend what she had been through and they wouldn’t want to because it would disrupt the illusion of safety they had created.
John Hunt (Doll House)
Thandi looks at the rag dolls and the coasters and key chains and handcrafted jewelry that Delores delicately places inside the basket. How would visitors know the real stories behind the faces of the wooden masks they'd buy to have on walls; the rag dolls they'd use to decorate unused furniture in their houses; the figurines they'd place on mantels that they can marvel at and then quickly forget?
Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun)
Seen from an aeroplane high in the air, even the most gigantic skyscraper is only a tall stone black, a mere sculptural form, not a real building in which people can live. But as the plane descends from the great heights there will be one moment when the buildings change character completely. Suddenly, they take on human scale, become houses for human beings like ourselves, not the tiny dolls observed from the heights. This strange tranformation takes place at the instant when the contours of the buildings begin to rise above the horizon so that we get a side view of them instead of looking down on them. The buildings pass into a new stage of existence, become architecture in place of neat toys -- for architecture means shapes formed around man, formed to be lived in, not merely to be seen from outside.
Steen Eiler Rasmussen (Experiencing Architecture)
I know this much—the world out there, Fancy, that world which is all around on the other side of the wall, it isn’t real. It’s real inside here, we’re real, but what is outside is like it’s made of cardboard, or plastic, or something. Nothing out there is real. Everything is made out of something else, and everything is made to look like something else, and it all comes apart in your hands. The people aren’t real, they’re nothing but endless copies of each other, all looking just alike, like paper dolls, and they live in houses full of artificial things and eat imitation food—” “My doll house,” Fancy said, amused. “Your dolls have little cakes and roasts made of wood and painted. Well, the people out there have cakes and bread and cookies made out of pretend flour, with all kinds of things taken out of it to make it prettier for them to eat, and all kinds of things put in to make it easier for them to eat, and they eat meat which has been cooked for them already so they won’t have to bother to do anything except heat it up and they read newspapers full of nonsense and lies and one day they hear that some truth is being kept from them for their own good and the next day they hear that the truth is being kept from them because it was really a lie
Shirley Jackson (The Sundial)
He sank more and more into apathy; little interested him apart from dolls and other children’s toys. He still spoke occasionally, but mainly to produce stock sentences in the style of a brainwashed schoolboy. Franziska made a record of some of them: ‘I translated much’. ‘I lived in a good place called Naumburg’. ‘I swam in the Saale’. ‘I was very fine because I lived in a fine house’. ‘I love Bismarck’. ‘I don’t like Friedrich Nietzsche’. It would be a mercy to think that he experienced at least a kind of vegetative contentment, but this seems not to have been the case. He suffered from his life-long curse of insomnia, and visitors downstairs were often disturbed by groans and howls coming from the upstairs bedroom. Towards the end of Franziska recorded him uttering ‘More light!’ (Goethe’s dying words) and ‘In short, dead!’ suggesting that that is what he wanted to be.
Julian Young (Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography)
Dodo Conway was a Catholic who had gone to Barnard and then married an architect who had gone to Columbia and was also a Catholic. They had a big, rambling house up the street from us, set behind a morbid façade of pine trees, and surrounded by scooters, tricycles, doll carriages, toy fire trucks, baseball bat, badminton nets, croquet wickets, hamster cages and cocker spaniel puppies--the whole sprawling paraphernalia of suburban childhood.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Helmer: Just think how a guilty man like that has to lie and play the hypocrite with every one, how he has to wear a mask in presence of those near and dear to him, even before his own wife and children. And about the children--that is the most terrible part of it all, Nora. Nora: How? Helmer: Because such an atmosphere of lies infects and poisons the whole life of a home. Each breath the children take in such a house is full of the germs of evil.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
Papa! You painted my nose!" "I certainly did," her father said. "But why?" Belle tried to see the purple dot on her face. Maurice grinned. "Because that mark makes you even more beautiful. Different and special from the inside out, just like your fantastic doll. And just like your mother, who you look and act more like every day." Belle eyed her father suspiciously. "A purple mark does all that?" "Yes. Because it's yours and only yours," Maurice said.
Walt Disney Company (Belle's Discovery (Disney Princess Beginnings, #2))
The scene strongly brings to mind a stack of magazines tied up with string in an attic. It strongly brings to mind that medical superman of yesteryear, the old doc on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post with his stethoscope planted on the chest of a child's doll, the old doc who rode from house to house through deep snows with his black bag beside him and his roan gelding pulling the sleigh, the old doc who did appendectomies on the kitchen table, the old doc who worked nine days a week and rested on the tenth.
John McPhee (Table of Contents)
In La Paz, during January, the Bolivians hold a traditional festival called Alasitas. For three weeks, markets . . . are full of tiny objects, tiny everything: tiny horses, tiny computers, tiny diplomats, tiny houses, tiny jeeps, tiny llamas and tiny llama steaks, tiny passports. People buy models of whatever they need most. . . . They offer their miniature figurines to miniature man—Ekeko the midget, the Aymara god of abundance, a smoking doll cloaked in bright wool. They pin their miniature desires to his miniature poncho.
Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams)
They wash the windows, the roof, the door, all of it. Then a crane drags the house from its spot and puts it down into the pit. There's dolls and books and cans all scattered around. The excavator picks them up. Then it covers everything with sand and clay, leveling it. And then instead of a village, you have an empty field. They sowed our land with corn. Our house is lying there, and our school and our village council office. My plants are there and two albums of stamps, I was hoping to bring them with me. Also I had a bike.
Svetlana Alexievich (Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster)
Úgy értem, hogy papa kezéből a tiédbe kerültem. Itt te mindent a magad ízlése szerint rendeztél be, s így nekem ugyanaz lett az ízlésem, ami neked, vagy legalább úgy tettem, nem is tudom igazán… úgy gondolom, mindkettő igaz; hol az egyik, hol a másik. De ahogy most nézem, mintha úgy éltem volna itt, mint egy szegény ember, aki csak a betevő falatját keresi meg. Abból éltem, hogy mókáztam neked, Torvald. De hát te így akartad. Te és a papa nagy bűnt követtetek el ellenem. Ti vagytok a hibásak benne, hogy semmi sem lett belőlem.
Henrik Ibsen (A Doll's House)
They have found a house in the stay-away zone, under the barrage balloons south of London. The town, evacuated in '40, is still "regulated"—still on the Ministry's list. Roger and Jessica occupy the place illegally, in a defiance they can never measure unless they're caught. Jessica has brought an old doll, seashells, her aunt's grip filled with lace knickers and silk stockings. Roger's managed to scare up a few chickens to nest in the empty garage. Whenever they meet here, one always remembers to bring a fresh flower or two. The nights are filled with explosion and motor transport, and wind that brings them up over the downs and a smack of the sea. Day begins with a hot cup and a cigarette over a little table with a weak leg that Roger has repaired, provisionally, with brown twine. There's never much talk but touches and looks, smiles together, curses for parting. It is marginal, hungry, chilly-most times they're too paranoid to risk a fire—but it's something they want to keep, so much that to keep it, they will take on more than propaganda has ever asked them for. They are in love. Fuck the war.
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
They have found a house in the stay-away zone, under the barrage balloons south of London. The town, evacuated in ’40, is still “regulated”—still on the Ministry’s list. Roger and Jessica occupy the place illegally, in a defiance they can never measure unless they’re caught. Jessica has brought an old doll, seashells, her aunt’s grip filled with lace knickers and silk stockings. Roger’s managed to scare up a few chickens to nest in the empty garage. Whenever they meet here, one always remembers to bring a fresh flower or two. The nights are filled with explosion and motor transport, and wind that brings them up over the downs a last smack of the sea. Day begins with a hot cup and a cigarette over a little table with a weak leg that Roger has repaired, provisionally, with brown twine. There’s never much talk but touches and looks, smiles together, curses for parting. It is marginal, hungry, chilly—most times they’re too paranoid to risk a fire—but it’s something they want to keep, so much that to keep it they will take on more than propaganda has ever asked them for. They are in love. Fuck the war.
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
Sanderson suppressed a smile. She loved watching Helen when she had her game face on. Because she was tall, athletic and pretty, people thought she would be genial and pleasant – and often she was. But there was a steel within Helen and an unwavering focus that unnerved people under interrogation. They could find no way to distract her, no purchase of any kind with which to drag the interrogation to areas where they felt more secure. She looked at you with such intensity and such purpose – Sanderson had seen many a criminal give up the ghost before they had even begun.
M.J. Arlidge (The Doll's House (DI Helen Grace #3))
I like to watch Peter when he doesn’t know I’m looking. I like to admire the straight line of his jaw, the curve of his cheekbone. There’s an openness to his face, an innocence--a certain kind of niceness. It’s the niceness that touches my heart the most. It’s Friday night at Gabe Rivera’s house after the lacrosse game. Our school won, so everyone is in very fine spirits, Peter most of all, because he scored the winning shot. He’s across the room playing poker with some of the guys from his team; he is sitting with his chair tipped back, his back against the wall. His hair is still wet from showering after the game. I’m on the couch with my friends Lucas Krapf and Pammy Subkoff, and they’re flipping through the latest issue of Teen Vogue, debating whether or not Pammy should get bangs. “What do you think, Lara Jean?” Pammy asks, running her fingers through her carrot-colored hair. Pammy is a new friend--I’ve gotten to know her because she dates Peter’s good friend Darrell. She has a face like a doll, round as a cake pan, and freckles dust her face and shoulders like sprinkles. “Um, I think bangs are a very big commitment and not to be decided on a whim. Depending on how fast your hair grows, you could be growing them out for a year or more. But if you’re serious, I think you should wait till fall, because it’ll be summer before you know it, and bangs in the summer can be sort of sticky and sweaty and annoying…” My eyes drift back to Peter, and he looks up and sees me looking at him, and raises his eyebrows questioningly. I just smile and shake my head. “So don’t get bangs?” My phone buzzes in my purse. It’s Peter. Do you want to go? No. Then why were you staring at me? Because I felt like it.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
There are these fading, ageing girls who constantly let themselves go over the edge without resisting, strong girls, still unused in their innermost selves, who have never been loved. Perhaps, Lord, you mean me to leave everything and go love them. Otherwise why is it so difficult for me not to follow them when they pass me in the street? Why do I suddenly invent the sweetest, most nocturnal words, and why does my voice settle sweetly inside me between my throat and heart? Why do I imagine how I, with unutterable caution, would hold them to my breath, these dolls that life has been playing with, flinging their arms apart springtime after springtime for nothing, and again for nothing, until they became slack in the shoulders. They've never fallen from a very high hope, so they're not broken; but they're badly chipped already and too far gone. Only stray cats come to them in the evening in their rooms and keep giving them furtive scratches and then sleep on top of them. Sometimes I follow one of them down a couple of streets. They walk past the houses, people are continually coming along who blot them out, they go on fading until they are nothing.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)
. . . such a rush immediately ensued that she with laughing face and plundered dress was borne towards it the centre of a flushed and boisterous group, just in time to greet the father, who came home attended by a man laden with Christmas toys and presents. Then the shouting and the struggling, and the onslaught that was made on the defenceless porter! Then scaling him, with chairs for ladders, to dive into his pockets, despoil him of brown-paper parcels, hold on tight by his cravat, hug him round the neck, pommel his back and kick his legs in irrepressible affection! The shouts of wonder and delight with wich the development of every package was received! The terrible announcement that the baby had been taken in the act of putting a doll's frying-pan into his mouth, and was more than suspected of having swallowed a fictitious turkey, glued on a wooden platter! The immense relief of finding this false alarm! The joy, and gratitude, and ecstasy! They are indescribable alike. It is enough that by degrees the children and their emotions got out of the parlor, and by one stair at a time up to the top of the house; where they went to bed, and so subsided.
Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol and The Night Before Christmas)
Mother did not spend all her time in paying dull calls to dull ladies, and sitting dully at home waiting for dull ladies to pay calls to her. She was almost always there, ready to play with the children, and read to them, and help them to do their home-lessons. Besides this she used to write stories for them while they were at school, and read them aloud after tea, and she always made up funny pieces of poetry for their birthdays and for other great occasions, such as the christening of the new kittens, or the refurnishing of the doll's house, or the time when they were getting over the mumps.
E. Nesbit (The Railway Children)
A man walks into the toy store to get a Barbie doll for his daughter. So he asks the assistant, as you would, "How much is Barbie?"      "Well," she says, "we have Barbie Goes to the Gym for $19.95, Barbie Goes to the Ball for $19.95, Barbie Goes Shopping for $19.95, Barbie Goes to the Beach for $19.95, Barbie Goes Nightclubbing for $19.95, and Divorced Barbie for $265.00."       "Hey, hang on," the guy asks, "why is Divorced Barbie $265.00 when all the others are only $19.95?"        "Yeah, well, it's like this....Divorced Barbie comes with Ken's house, Ken's car, Ken's boat, Ken's furniture...
E. King (Best Adult Jokes Ever)
The beauty myth of the present is more insidious than any mystique of femininity yet: A century ago, Nora slammed the door of the doll’s house; a generation ago, women turned their backs on the consumer heaven of the isolated multiapplianced home; but where women are trapped today, there is no door to slam. The contemporary ravages of the beauty backlash are destroying women physically and depleting us psychologically. If we are to free ourselves from the dead weight that has once again been made out of femaleness, it is not ballots or lobbyists or placards that women will need first; it is a new way to see.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women)
It's be when you first learn to walk that I get daily demonstrations of the asymmetry in our relationship. You'll be incessantly running off somewhere, and each time you walk into a door frame or scrape your knee, the pain feels like it's my own. It'll be like growing an errant limb, an extension of myself whose sensory nerves report pain just fine, but whose motor nerves don't convey my commands at all. It's so unfair: I'm going to give birth to an animated voodoo doll of myself. I didn't see this in the contract when I signed up. Was this part of the deal? And then there will be the times when I see you laughing. Like the time you'll be playing with the neighbor's puppy, poking your hands through the chain-link fence separating our back yards, and you'll be laughing so hard you'll start hiccuping. The puppy will run inside the neighbor's house, and your laughter will gradually subside, letting you catch your breath. Then the puppy will come back to the fence to lick your fingers again, and you'll shriek and start laughing again. it will be the most wonderful sound I could ever imagine, a sound that makes me feel like a fountain, or a wellspring. Now if only I can remember that sound the next time your blithe disregard for self-preservation gives me a heart attack.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
Remaining relaxed in his seat, he murmured, "Take down your hood." A slender white hand reached up, and she complied. The hood slipped away from hair so vividly red that it eclipsed the embers in the fireplace. Sebastian shook his head in bemusement as he recognized the young woman. The ridiculous creature from the house party at Stony Cross Park. A shy, stammering twit, whose red hair and voluptuous figure might make her tolerable company as long as she kept her mouth shut. They had never actually spoken. Miss Evangeline Jenner, he recalled. She had the largest, roundest eyes he had ever seen, rather like the eyes of a wax doll... or a young child.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
In America, we like to think that the reason we have had success is that we worked hard or we were smart. Admitting that racism has played a part in our success means admitting that the American dream isn’t quite so accessible to all. A social justice educator named Peggy McIntosh has pointed out some of these advantages: having access to jobs and housing, for example. Walking into a random hair salon and finding someone who can cut your hair. Buying dolls, toys, and children’s books that feature people of your race. Getting a promotion without someone suspecting that it was due to your skin color. Asking to speak to someone in charge, and being directed to someone of your race.
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
Never play the princess when you can be the queen: rule the kingdom, swing a scepter, wear a crown of gold. Don’t dance in glass slippers, crystal carving up your toes -- be a barefoot Amazon instead, for those shoes will surely shatter on your feet. Never wear only pink when you can strut in crimson red, sweat in heather grey, and shimmer in sky blue, claim the golden sun upon your hair. Colors are for everyone, boys and girls, men and women -- be a verdant garden, the landscape of Versailles, not a pale primrose blindly pushed aside. Chase green dragons and one-eyed zombies, fierce and fiery toothy monsters, not merely lazy butterflies, sweet and slow on summer days. For you can tame the most brutish beasts with your wily wits and charm, and lizard scales feel just as smooth as gossamer insect wings. Tramp muddy through the house in a purple tutu and cowboy boots. Have a tea party in your overalls. Build a fort of birch branches, a zoo of Legos, a rocketship of Queen Anne chairs and coverlets, first stop on the moon. Dream of dinosaurs and baby dolls, bold brontosaurus and bookish Belle, not Barbie on the runway or Disney damsels in distress -- you are much too strong to play the simpering waif. Don a baseball cap, dance with Daddy, paint your toenails, climb a cottonwood. Learn to speak with both your mind and heart. For the ground beneath will hold you, dear -- know that you are free. And never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.
Clementine Paddleford
Of the Poet’s Youth" When the man behind the counter said, “You pay by the orifice,” what could we do but purchase them all? Ah, Sandy, vou were clearly the deluxe doll, modish and pert in your plastic nurse whites, official hostess to our halcyon days, where you bobbed in the doorway of our dishabille apartment, a block downwind from the stockyards. Holding court on the corroded balcony, K. and I passed hash brownies, collecting change for the building’s monthly pool to predict which balcony would fall off next. That’s when K. was fucking M. and M. was fucking J., and even B. and I threw down once on the glass-speckled lawn, adrift in the headlights of his El Camino. Those were immortal times, Sandy! Coke wasn’t addictive yet, condoms prevented herpes and men were only a form of practice for the Russian novel we foolishly hoped our lives would become. Now it’s a Friday night, sixteen years from there. Don’t the best characters know better than to live too long? My estranged husband house-sits for a spoiled cockatoo while saving to buy his own place. My lover’s gone back to his gin and the farm-team fiancée he keeps in New York. What else to do but read Frank O’Hara to my tired three-year-old? When I put him to bed, he mutters “more sorry” as he turns into sleep. Tonight, I find you in a box I once marked “The Past.” Well, therapy’s good for some things, Sandy, but who’d want to forgive a girl like that? Frank says Destroy yourself if you don’t know! Deflated, you’re simply the smile that surrounds a hole. I don’t know anything.
Erin Belieu
In Dream Street there are many theatrical hotels, and rooming houses, and restaurants, and speaks, including Good Time Charley's Gingham Shoppe, and in the summer time the characters I mention sit on the stoops or lean against the railings along Dream Street, and the gab you hear sometimes sounds very dreamy indeed. In fact, it sometimes sounds very pipe-dreamy. Many actors, male and female, and especially vaudeville actors, live in the hotels and rooming houses, and vaudeville actors, both male and female, are great hands for sitting around dreaming out loud about how they will practically assassinate the public in the Palace if ever they get a chance. Furthermore, in Dream Street are always many hand-bookies and horse players, who sit on the church steps on the cool side of Dream Street in the summer and dream about big killings on the races, and there are also nearly always many fight managers, and sometimes fighters, hanging out in front of the restaurants, picking their teeth and dreaming about winning championships of the world, although up to this time no champion of the world has yet come out of Dream Street. In this street you see burlesque dolls, and hoofers, and guys who write songs, and saxophone players, and newsboys, and newspaper scribes, and taxi drivers, and blind guys, and midgets, and blondes with Pomeranian pooches, or maybe French poodles, and guys with whiskers, and night-club entertainers, and I do not know what all else. And all of these characters are interesting to look at, and some of them are very interesting to talk to, although if you listen to several I know long enough, you may get the idea that they are somewhat daffy, especially the horse players.
Damon Runyon (The Short Stories of Damon Runyon - Volume I - The Bloodhounds of Broadway)
The little girls who invited Poppy over had pink rooms and pink LEGOs and pink comforters over pink sheets on their pink beds. They had crates—actual crates!—of tutus and high heels and dress-up clothes, stuffed animals who themselves wore tutus and high heels and dress-up clothes, Barbies and clothes for the Barbies, jewelry, nail polish, fairies, and baby dolls. They liked to draw and trade stickers. They liked to put their stuffies in strollers and give them a bottle and push them around the block. They liked to have a lemonade stand. They liked to chase each other around the house but in tutus and high heels, and when they caught you at the end, they just hugged you and giggled and laughed together instead of making a big thing about who was a loser and sitting on your head and farting. Poppy could not understand why everyone in the whole world didn’t want to be a girl.
Laurie Frankel (This Is How It Always Is)
No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard — and he had never been handsome. He had a considerable independence besides two good livings — and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of useful plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with a good constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect, she still lived on — lived to have six children more — to see them growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself. A family of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number; but the Morlands had little other right to the word, for they were in general very plain, and Catherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any. She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features — so much for her person; and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed her mind. She was fond of all boy's plays, and greatly preferred cricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush. Indeed she had no taste for a garden; and if she gathered flowers at all, it was chiefly for the pleasure of mischief — at least so it was conjectured from her always preferring those which she was forbidden to take. Such were her propensities — her abilities were quite as extraordinary. She never could learn or understand anything before she was taught; and sometimes not even then, for she was often inattentive, and occasionally stupid. Her mother was three months in teaching her only to repeat the "Beggar's Petition"; and after all, her next sister, Sally, could say it better than she did. Not that Catherine was always stupid — by no means; she learnt the fable of "The Hare and Many Friends" as quickly as any girl in England. Her mother wished her to learn music; and Catherine was sure she should like it, for she was very fond of tinkling the keys of the old forlorn spinner; so, at eight years old she began. She learnt a year, and could not bear it; and Mrs. Morland, who did not insist on her daughters being accomplished in spite of incapacity or distaste, allowed her to leave off. The day which dismissed the music-master was one of the happiest of Catherine's life. Her taste for drawing was not superior; though whenever she could obtain the outside of a letter from her mother or seize upon any other odd piece of paper, she did what she could in that way, by drawing houses and trees, hens and chickens, all very much like one another. Writing and accounts she was taught by her father; French by her mother: her proficiency in either was not remarkable, and she shirked her lessons in both whenever she could. What a strange, unaccountable character! — for with all these symptoms of profligacy at ten years old, she had neither a bad heart nor a bad temper, was seldom stubborn, scarcely ever quarrelsome, and very kind to the little ones, with few interruptions of tyranny; she was moreover noisy and wild, hated confinement and cleanliness, and loved nothing so well in the world as rolling down the green slope at the back of the house.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
Recently I've been having the fantasy more and more" the one where Tack and I run away, disappear under the wide-open sky into the forest with leaves like green hands, welcoming us. In my fantasy, the more we walk, the cleaner we get, like the woods are rubbing away the past few years, all the blood and the fighting and the scars - sloughing off the bad memories and the false starts, leaving us shiny and new, like dolls just taken out of the package. And in this fantasy, my fantasy life, we find a stone cottage hidden deep in the forest, untouched, fitted with beds and rugs and plates and everything we need to live - like the owners just picked up and walked away, or like the house had been built for us and was just waiting all this time. We fish the stream and hunt the woods in the summer. We grow potatoes and peppers and tomatoes big as pumpkins. In the winter we stay inside by the fire while snow falls around us like a blanket, stilling the world, cocooning it in sleep.
Lauren Oliver (Raven (Delirium, #2.5))
On this bald hill the new year hones its edge. Faceless and pale as china The round sky goes on minding its business. Your absence is inconspicuous; Nobody can tell what I lack. Gulls have threaded the river’s mud bed back To this crest of grass. Inland, they argue, Settling and stirring like blown paper Or the hands of an invalid. The wan Sun manages to strike such tin glints From the linked ponds that my eyes wince And brim; the city melts like sugar. A crocodile of small girls Knotting and stopping, ill-assorted, in blue uniforms, Opens to swallow me. I’m a stone, a stick, One child drops a carrette of pink plastic; None of them seem to notice. Their shrill, gravelly gossip’s funneled off. Now silence after silence offers itself. The wind stops my breath like a bandage. Southward, over Kentish Town, an ashen smudge Swaddles roof and tree. It could be a snowfield or a cloudbank. I suppose it’s pointless to think of you at all. Already your doll grip lets go. The tumulus, even at noon, guargs its black shadow: You know me less constant, Ghost of a leaf, ghost of a bird. I circle the writhen trees. I am too happy. These faithful dark-boughed cypresses Brood, rooted in their heaped losses. Your cry fades like the cry of a gnat. I lose sight of you on your blind journey, While the heath grass glitters and the spindling rivulets Unpool and spend themselves. My mind runs with them, Pooling in heel-prints, fumbling pebble and stem. The day empties its images Like a cup of a room. The moon’s crook whitens, Thin as the skin seaming a scar. Now, on the nursery wall, The blue night plants, the little pale blue hill In your sister’s birthday picture start to glow. The orange pompons, the Egyptian papyrus Light up. Each rabbit-eared Blue shrub behind the glass Exhales an indigo nimbus, A sort of cellophane balloon. The old dregs, the old difficulties take me to wife. Gulls stiffen to their chill vigil in the drafty half-light; I enter the lit house.
Sylvia Plath
Paley’s book Boys and Girls is about the year she spent trying to get her pupils to behave in a more unisex way. And it is a chronicle of spectacular and amusing failure. None of Paley’s tricks or bribes or clever manipulations worked. For instance, she tried forcing the boys to play in the doll corner and the girls to play in the block corner. The boys proceeded to turn the doll corner into the cockpit of a starship, and the girls built a house out of blocks and resumed their domestic fantasies. Paley’s experiment culminated in her declaration of surrender to the deep structures of gender. She decided to let the girls be girls. She admits, with real self-reproach, that this wasn’t that hard for her: Paley always approved more of the girls’ relatively calm and prosocial play. It was harder to let the boys be boys, but she did. “Let the boys be robbers,” Paley concluded, “or tough guys in space. It is the natural, universal, and essential play of little boys.” I’ve been arguing that children’s pretend play is relentlessly focused on trouble. And it is. But as Melvin Konner demonstrates in his monumental book The Evolution of Childhood, there are reliable sex differences in how boys and girls play that have been found around the world. Dozens of studies across five decades and a multitude of cultures have found essentially what Paley found in her midwestern classroom: boys and girls spontaneously segregate themselves by sex; boys engage in much more rough-and-tumble play; fantasy play is more frequent in girls, more sophisticated, and more focused on pretend parenting; boys are generally more aggressive and less nurturing than girls, with the differences being present and measurable by the seventeenth month of life. The psychologists Dorothy and Jerome Singer sum up this research: “Most of the time we see clear-cut differences in the way children play. Generally, boys are more vigorous in their activities, choosing games of adventure, daring, and conflict, while girls tend to choose games that foster nurturance and affiliation.
Jonathan Gottschall (The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human)
I am a person of binges. I have never understood the phrase “too much of a good thing.” Look: it’s irrational, impossible. See fig. 1: when I was a child, I became obsessed with horses. I know, I know, all little girls are obsessed with horses. But I lived for them. I gorged on them. I begged for them in any incarnation: films, toys, patterns, photographs, posters. Once, I cut the hair off a Barbie and superglued it to the base of my spine. I thrilled to wear my pony tail under my clothes, in secret, my parents knowing nothing, thinking me merely human, but it rubbed off after two days, leaving long blond doll hairs clotting in the corners of the house. My birthday came, and my parents, who were still together then, splurged on an afternoon of horseback riding lessons. When it was time to leave, they found that I had knotted my hair into the horse’s mane so elaborately that they had to cut me away from it with a pair of rusted barn shears. I still have the clump of matted girl-and-horse hair hidden in a drawer, though after all the times I put it in my mouth, I admit that it is somewhat the worse for wear.
Emily Temple
And the sound of my own washer and dryer interfered with my sleep. So I just threw away my dirty underpants. All the old pairs reminded me of Trevor, anyway. For a while, tacky lingerie from Victoria’s Secret kept showing up in the mail—frilly fuchsia and lime green thongs and teddies and baby-doll nightgowns, each sealed in a clear plastic Baggie. I stuffed the little Baggies into the closet and went commando. An occasional package from Barneys or Saks provided me with men’s pajamas and other things I couldn’t remember ordering—cashmere socks, graphic T-shirts, designer jeans. I took a shower once a week at most. I stopped tweezing, stopped bleaching, stopped waxing, stopped brushing my hair. No moisturizing or exfoliating. No shaving. I left the apartment infrequently. I had all my bills on automatic payment plans. I’d already paid a year of property taxes on my apartment and on my dead parents’ old house upstate. Rent money from the tenants in that house showed up in my checking account by direct deposit every month. Unemployment was rolling in as long as I made the weekly call into the automated service and pressed “1” for “yes” when the robot asked if I’d made a sincere effort to find a job.
Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation)
It’s nice when grown people whisper to each other under the covers. Their ecstasy is more leaf-sigh than bray and the body is the vehicle, not the point. They reach, grown people, for something beyond, way beyond and way, way down underneath tissue. They are remembering while they whisper the carnival dolls they won and the Baltimore boats they never sailed on. The pears they let hang on the limb because if they plucked them, they would be gone from there and who else would see that ripeness if they took it away for themselves? How could anybody passing by see them and imagine for themselves what the flavor would be like? Breathing and murmuring under covers both of them have washed and hung out on the line, in a bed they chose together and kept together nevermind one leg was propped on a 1916 dictionary, and the mattress, curved like a preacher’s palm asking for witnesses in His name’s sake, enclosed them each and every night and muffled their whispering, old-time love. They are under the covers because they don’t have to look at themselves anymore; there is no stud’s eye, no chippie glance to undo them. They are inward toward the other, bound and joined by carnival dolls and the steamers that sailed from ports they never saw. That is what is beneath their undercover whispers. But there is another part, not so secret. The part that touches fingers when one passes the cup and saucer to the other. The part that closes her neckline snap while waiting for the trolley; and brushes lint from his blue serge suit when they come out of the movie house into the sunlight. I envy them their public love. I myself have only known it in secret, shared it in secret and longed, aw longed to show it—to be able to say out loud what they have no need to say at all: That I have loved only you, surrendered my whole self reckless to you and nobody else. That I want you to love me back and show it to me. That I love the way you hold me, how close you let me be to you. I like your fingers on and on, lifting, turning. I have watched your face for a long time now, and missed your eyes when you went away from me. Talking to you and hearing you answer —that’s the kick. But I can’t say that aloud; I can’t tell anyone that I have been waiting for this all my life and that being chosen to wait is the reason I can. If I were able I’d say it. Say make me, remake me. You are free to do it and I am free to let you because look, look. Look where your hands are. Now.
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
Motor-scooter riders with big beards and girl friends who bounce on the back of the scooters and wear their hair long in front of their faces as well as behind, drunks who follow the advice of the Hat Council and are always turned out in hats, but not hats the Council would approve. Mr. Lacey, the locksmith,, shups up his shop for a while and goes to exchange time of day with Mr. Slube at the cigar store. Mr. Koochagian, the tailor, waters luxuriant jungle of plants in his window, gives them a critical look from the outside, accepts compliments on them from two passers-by, fingers the leaves on the plane tree in front of our house with a thoughtful gardener's appraisal, and crosses the street for a bite at the Ideal where he can keep an eye on customers and wigwag across the message that he is coming. The baby carriages come out, and clusters of everyone from toddlers with dolls to teenagers with homework gather at the stoops. When I get home from work, the ballet is reaching its cresendo. This is the time roller skates and stilts and tricycles and games in the lee of the stoop with bottletops and plastic cowboys, this is the time of bundles and packages, zigzagging from the drug store to the fruit stand and back over to the butcher's; this is the time when teenagers, all dressed up, are pausing to ask if their slips shows or their collars look right; this is the time when beautiful girls get out of MG's; this is the time when the fire engines go through; this is the time when anybody you know on Hudson street will go by. As the darkness thickens and Mr. Halpert moors the laundry cart to the cellar door again, the ballet goes under lights, eddying back nad forth but intensifying at the bright spotlight pools of Joe's sidewalk pizza, the bars, the delicatessen, the restaurant and the drug store. The night workers stop now at the delicatessen, to pick up salami and a container of milk. Things have settled down for the evening but the street and its ballet have not come to a stop. I know the deep night ballet and its seasons best from waking long after midnight to tend a baby and, sitting in the dark, seeing the shadows and hearing sounds of the sidewalk. Mostly it is a sound like infinitely patterning snatches of party conversation, and, about three in the morning, singing, very good singing. Sometimes their is a sharpness and anger or sad, sad weeping, or a flurry of search for a string of beads broken. One night a young man came roaring along, bellowing terrible language at two girls whom he had apparently picked up and who were disappointing him. Doors opened, a wary semicircle formed around him, not too close, until police came. Out came the heads, too, along the Hudsons street, offering opinion, "Drunk...Crazy...A wild kid from the suburbs" Deep in the night, I am almost unaware of how many people are on the street unless someone calls the together. Like the bagpipe. Who the piper is and why he favored our street I have no idea.
Jane Jacobs
Rowing A story, a story! (Let it go. Let it come.) I was stamped out like a Plymouth fender into this world. First came the crib with its glacial bars. Then dolls and the devotion to their plastic mouths. Then there was school, the little straight rows of chairs, blotting my name over and over, but undersea all the time, a stranger whose elbows wouldn’t work. Then there was life with its cruel houses and people who seldom touched – though touch is all – but I grew, like a pig in a trenchcoat I grew, and then there were many strange apparitions, the nagging rain, the sun turning into poison and all of that, saws working through my heart, but I grew, I grew, and God was there like an island I had not rowed to, still ignorant of Him, my arms and my legs worked, and I grew, I grew, I wore rubies and bought tomatoes and now, in my middle age, about nineteen in the head I’d say, I am rowing, I am rowing though the oarlocks stick and are rusty and the sea blinks and rolls like a worried eyeball, but I am rowing, I am rowing, though the wind pushes me back and I know that that island will not be perfect, it will have the flaws of life, the absurdities of the dinner table, but there will be a door and I will open it and I will get rid of the rat inside of me, the gnawing pestilential rat. God will take it with his two hands and embrace it. As the African says: This is my tale which I have told, if it be sweet, if it be not sweet, take somewhere else and let some return to me. This story ends with me still rowing.
Anne Sexton
At first it seemed to be no more than a chance ray of light beamed into the vestibule by the shifting of a tree-bough between house and street lamp, but as we kept our eyes glued to it we saw that it was a form - a tall, attenuated, skeletally-thin form moving stealthily in the shadow. Slowly the thing emerged from the gloom of the doorway, and despite the warning I had had, I felt a prickling sensation at the back of my neck just above my collar, and a feeling as of sudden chill ran through my forearms. It was tall, as we had been told, fully six feet from its bare-boned feet to hairless, parchment-covered skull; and the articulation of its skeleton could be seen plainly through the leathery skin that clung to the gaunt, staring bones. The nose was large, high-bridged and haughty, like the beak of a falcon or eagle, and the chin was prominent beneath the brownish sheath of skin that stretched drum-tight across it. The eyes were closed and showed only as twin depressions in the skull-like countenance, but the mummified lips had retracted to show a double line of teeth in a mirthless grin. Its movements were irregular and stiff, like the movements of some monstrous mechanical doll or, as Edina Laurace had expressed it, like a marionette worked by unseen wires. But once it had emerged from the doorway it moved with shocking quickness. Jerkily, and with exaggeratedly high knee-action, it crossed the lawn, came to the sidewalk, turned on its parchment-soled feet as if on a pivot, and started after de Grandin. ("The Man In Crescent Terrace")
Seabury Quinn (The Mummy Walks Among Us)
This could get a little hairy,” I tell them in interruption. Seriously, I don’t want to know this secret. I’ve got too much other shit going on. I grimace at the very questionable intestines that belong to some fabled creature that surely can’t exist under the radar if all that fit inside it. “If you’re a respawner instead of an unkillable being, get out of the kitchen and at least a mile from the house.” Mom assured me there’s a five mile seclusion radius. Damien starts speaking to me, almost as though he’s too tired to deal with my tinkering right now. “Violet, that potion has to be fresh. There’s no need-" ... There’s a loud, bubbling, sizzling noise that cracks through the air, and I drop to the floor, as a pulse shoots from the pot. Damien yelps, as he and Emit are thrown into one wall, and Mom curses seconds before she and Arion are launched almost into each other, hitting opposing walls instead, when they manage to twist in the air to avoid touching. Everyone crashes to the ground at almost the same time. Groans and grunts and coughs of pain all ring out in annoyed unison. “I warned you,” I call out, even as most of them narrow their eyes in my direction. Damien shoots me a look of exasperation, and I shrug a shoulder. “She did warn us,” Mom grumbles as she remains lying on the floor, while everyone else pushes to their feet. “No one fucks up a potion better than I do. If I fuck it up enough, less power will be needed to raise them,” I go on, smiling over at Emit…who is just staring at me like he’s confused. “But it’s the exact right ingredients,” he says warily, as he stands. “She’s apples and oranges. You can’t compare her to anyone else using those ingredients for that reason,” Mom says dismissively, as I gesture to Vance. “Take him with you; I’m going to be a while. That was just the first volatile ingredient. I don’t think you want to be here for the yacktite—” “Ylacklatite,” they all correct in unison. “You don’t want to be here for those gross, possibly toxic, hard-to-say, fabled-creature intestines. It’s going to probably get crazy up in here,” I say as I twirl my finger around, staying on the floor for a minute longer. Sometimes there’s an echo. “Raise your heartbeat. You’re not taking this seriously enough,” Mom scolds. “What are you doing letting your heartbeat drop so much?” “You really should go. It gets unpredictable when—” The echo pulse I worried would come knocks Arion, Emit, and Damien to the ceiling this time, and I cringe when I hear things crack. When they drop, Arion and Emit land in a crouch, and Damien lands hard on his back, cursing the pot on the stove like it’s singled him out and has it in for sexual deviants. Arion’s lips twitch as he stares over at me, likely thinking what sort of punch a pencil could pack with this concoction. But I’ll be damned if Shera steals any of this juice for his freaky pencils. “Do you rip up those dolls to use them as a timer?” the vampire asks, as he stays on the floor, causing Mom to sneer in his direction. Another pulse cracks some glass, but everyone is under the reach of it now. Damien just shakes his head. “You have drawers full of toxic pencils I don’t even want to know the purpose of,” I tell him dryly. “You don’t get to judge.” His grin grows like he’s pleased with something. I think Mom is seconds away from a brain aneurism
Kristy Cunning (Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters, #4))
Rose, let me show you upstairs to your new room. Do you know that my brother has bought the contents of an entire toy shop for you? Dolls and books, and the biggest doll house you've ever seen.” As the little girl squealed with delight and followed her at once, Holly stared at Zachary Bronson with rapidly dawning disapproval. “An entire toy shop?” “It was nothing like that,” Bronson said immediately. “Elizabeth is prone to exaggeration.” He threw a warning glance at Paula, silently demanding that she agree with him. “Isn't that right, Mother?” “Well,” Paula said uncertainly, “actually, you did rather—” “I'm certain Lady Holland will want a tour of the house while her belongings are unpacked,” Bronson interrupted hastily. “Why don't you take her around?” Clearly overwhelmed by shyness, Mrs. Bronson gave a noncommittal murmur and sped away, leaving the two of them alone in the parlor. Faced with Holly's disapproving stare, Zachary shoved his hands in his pockets, while the toe of his expensive shoe beat a quick, impatient rhythm on the floor. “What harm is there in an extra toy or two?” he finally said in an excessively reasonable tone. “Her room was about as cheerful as a prison cell. I thought a doll and a handful of books would make the place more appealing for her—” “First of all,” Holly interrupted, “I doubt that any room in this house could be described as a prison cell. Second… I will not have my daughter spoiled and overwhelmed, and influenced by your taste for excess.” “Fine,” he said with a gathering scowl. “We'll get rid of the damned toys, then.” “Please do not swear in my presence,” Holly said, and sighed. “How am I to remove the toys after Rose has seen them? You don't know very much about children, do you?” “No,” he said shortly. “Only how to bribe them.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
Between 1970 and 1971, the feminist movement made significant strides. In 1970, the Equal Rights Amendment was forced out of the House Judiciary Committee, where it had been stuck since 1948; the following year, it passed in the House of Representatives. In response to a sit-in led by Susan Brownmiller, Ladies' Home Journal published a feminist supplement on issues of concern to women. Time featured Sexual Politics author Kate Millett on its cover, and Ms., a feminist monthly, debuted as an insert in New York magazine. Even twelve members of a group with which Barbie had much in common—Transworld Airlines stewardesses—rose up, filing a multimillion-dollar sex discrimination suit against the airline. Surprisingly, Barbie didn't ignore these events as she had the Vietnam War; she responded. Her 1970 "Living" incarnation had jointed ankles, permitting her feet to flatten out. If one views the doll as a stylized fertility icon, Barbie's arched feet are a source of strength; but if one views her as a literal representation of a modern woman—an equally valid interpretation— her arched feet are a hindrance. Historically, men have hobbled women to prevent them from running away. Women of Old China had their feet bound in childhood; Arab women wore sandals on stilts; Palestinian women were secured at the ankles with chains to which bells were attached; Japanese women were wound up in heavy kimonos; and Western women were hampered by long, restrictive skirts and precarious heels. Given this precedent, Barbie's flattened feet were revolutionary. Mattel did not, however, promote them that way. Her feet were just one more "poseable" element of her "poseable" body. It was almost poignant. Barbie was at last able to march with her sisters; but her sisters misunderstood her and pushed her away.
M.G. Lord (Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll)
Quote from "The Dish Keepers of Honest House" ....TO TWIST THE COLD is easy when its only water you want. Tapping of the toothbrush echoes into Ella's mind like footsteps clacking a cobbled street on a bitter, dry, cold morning. Her mind pushes through sleep her body craves. It catches her head falling into a warm, soft pillow. "Go back to bed," she tells herself. "You're still asleep," Ella mumbles, pushes the blanket off, and sits up. The urgency to move persuades her to keep routines. Water from the faucet runs through paste foam like a miniature waterfall. Ella rubs sleep-deprieved eyes, then the bridge of her nose and glances into the sink. Ella's eyes astutely fixate for one, brief millisecond. Water becomes the burgundy of soldiers exiting the drain. Her mouth drops in shock. The flow turns green. It is like the bubbling fungus of flockless, fishless, stagnating ponds. Within the iridescent glimmer of her thinking -- like a brain losing blood flow, Ella's focus is the flickering flashing of gray, white dust, coal-black shadows and crows lifting from the ground. A half minute or two trails off before her mind returns to reality. Ella grasps a toothbrush between thumb and index finger. She rests the outer palm against the sink's edge, breathes in and then exhales. Tension in the brow subsides, and her chest and shoulders drop; she sighs. Ella stares at pasty foam. It exits the drain as if in a race to clear the sink of negativity -- of all germs, slimy spit, the burgundy of imagined soldiers and oppressive plaque. GRASPING THE SILKY STRAND between her fingers, Ella tucks, pulls and slides the floss gently through her teeth. Her breath is an inch or so of the mirror. Inspections leave her demeanor more alert. Clouding steam of the image tugs her conscience. She gazes into silver glass. Bits of hair loosen from the bun piled at her head's posterior. What transforms is what she imagines. The mirror becomes a window. The window possesses her Soul and Spirit. These two become concerned -- much like they did when dishonest housekeepers disrupted Ella's world in another story. Before her is a glorious bird -- shining-dark-as-coal, shimmering in hues of purple-black and black-greens. It is likened unto The Raven in Edgar Allan Poe's most famous poem of 1845. Instead of interrupting a cold December night with tapping on a chamber door, it rests its claws in the decorative, carved handle of a backrest on a stiff dining chair. It projects an air of humor and concern. It moves its head to and fro while seeking a clearer understanding. Ella studies the bird. It is surrounded in lofty bends and stretches of leafless, acorn-less, nearly lifeless, oak trees. Like fingers and arms these branches reach below. [Perhaps they are reaching for us? Rest assured; if they had designs on us, I would be someplace else, writing about something more pleasant and less frightening. Of course, you would be asleep.] Balanced in the branches is a chair. It is from Ella's childhood home. The chair sways. Ella imagines modern-day pilgrims of a distant shore. Each step is as if Mother Nature will position them upright like dolls, blown from the stability of their plastic, flat, toe-less feet. These pilgrims take fate by the hand. LIFTING A TOWEL and patting her mouth and hands, Ella pulls the towel through the rack. She walks to the bedroom, sits and picks up the newspaper. Thumbing through pages that leave fingertips black, she reads headlines: "Former Dentist Guilty of Health Care Fraud." She flips the page, pinches the tip of her nose and brushes the edge of her chin -- smearing both with ink. In the middle fold directly affront her eyes is another headline: "Dentist Punished for Misconduct." She turns the page. There is yet another: "Dentist guilty of urinating in surgery sink and using contaminated dental instruments on patients." This world contains those who are simply insane! Every profession has those who stray from goals....
Helene Andorre Hinson Staley
I feel so far away from them, on the top of this hill. It seems as though I belong to another species. They come out of their offices after their day of work, they look at the houses and the squares with satisfaction, they think it is their city, a good, solid, bourgeois city. They aren’t afraid, they feel at home. All they have ever seen is trained water running from taps, light which fills bulbs when you turn on the switch, half-breed, bastard trees held up with crutches. They have proof, a hundred times a day, that everything happens mechanically, that the world obeys fixed, unchangeable laws. In a vacuum all bodies fall at the same rate of speed, the public park is closed at 4 p.m. in winter, at 6 p.m. in summer, lead melts at 335 degrees centigrade, the last streetcar leaves the Hotel de Ville at 11.05 p.m. They are peaceful, a little morose, they think about Tomorrow, that is to say, simply, a new today; cities have only one day at their disposal and every morning it comes back exactly the same. They scarcely doll it up a bit on Sundays. Idiots. It is repugnant to me to think that I am going to see their thick, self-satisfied faces. They make laws, they write popular novels, they get married, they are fools enough to have children. And all this time, great, vague nature has slipped into their city, it has infiltrated everywhere, in their house, in their office, in themselves. It doesn’t move, it stays quietly and they are full of it inside, they breathe it, and they don’t see it, they imagine it to be outside, twenty miles from the city. I see it, I see this nature . . . I know that its obedience is idleness, I know it has no laws: what they take for constancy is only habit and it can change tomorrow. What if something were to happen? What if something suddenly started throbbing? Then they would notice it was there and they’d think their hearts were going to burst. Then what good would their dykes, bulwarks, power houses, furnaces and pile drivers be to them? It can happen any time, perhaps right now: the omens are present.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
Father will bury us with both hands. He boasts of me to his so-called friends, telling them I’m the next queen of this kingdom. I don’t think he’s ever paid so much attention to me before, and even now, it is minuscule, not for my own benefit. He pretends to love me now because of another, because of Tibe. Only when someone else sees worth in me does he condescend to do the same. Because of her father, she dreamed of a Queenstrial she did not win, of being cast aside and returned to the old estate. Once there, she was made to sleep in the family tomb, beside the still, bare body of her uncle. When the corpse twitched, hands reaching for her throat, she would wake, drenched in sweat, unable to sleep for the rest of the night. Julian and Sara think me weak, fragile, a porcelain doll who will shatter if touched, she wrote. Worst of all, I’m beginning to believe them. Am I really so frail? So useless? Surely I can be of some help somehow, if Julian would only ask? Are Jessamine’s lessons the best I can do? What am I becoming in this place? I doubt I even remember how to replace a lightbulb. I am not someone I recognize. Is this what growing up means? Because of Julian, she dreamed of being in a beautiful room. But every door was locked, every window shut, with nothing and no one to keep her company. Not even books. Nothing to upset her. And always, the room would become a birdcage with gilded bars. It would shrink and shrink until it cut her skin, waking her up. I am not the monster the gossips think me to be. I’ve done nothing, manipulated no one. I haven’t even attempted to use my ability in months, since Julian has no more time to teach me. But they don’t believe that. I see how they look at me, even the whispers of House Merandus. Even Elara. I have not heard her in my head since the banquet, when her sneers drove me to Tibe. Perhaps that taught her better than to meddle. Or maybe she is afraid of looking into my eyes and hearing my voice, as if I’m some kind of match for her razored whispers. I am not, of course. I am hopelessly undefended against people like her. Perhaps I should thank whoever started the rumor. It keeps predators like her from making me prey. Because of Elara, she dreamed of ice-blue eyes following her every move, watching as she donned a crown. People bowed under her gaze and sneered when she turned away, plotting against their newly made queen. They feared her and hated her in equal measure, each one a wolf waiting for her to be revealed as a lamb. She sang in the dream, a wordless song that did nothing but double their bloodlust. Sometimes they killed her, sometimes they ignored her, sometimes they put her in a cell. All three wrenched her from sleep. Today Tibe said he loves me, that he wants to marry me. I do not believe him. Why would he want such a thing? I am no one of consequence. No great beauty or intellect, no strength or power to aid his reign. I bring nothing to him but worry and weight. He needs someone strong at his side, a person who laughs at the gossips and overcomes her own doubts. Tibe is as weak as I am, a lonely boy without a path of his own. I will only make things worse. I will only bring him pain. How can I do that? Because of Tibe, she dreamed of leaving court for good. Like Julian wanted to do, to keep Sara from staying behind. The locations varied with the changing nights. She ran to Delphie or Harbor Bay or Piedmont or even the Lakelands, each one painted in shades of black and gray. Shadow cities to swallow her up and hide her from the prince and the crown he offered. But they frightened her too. And they were always empty, even of ghosts. In these dreams, she ended up alone. From these dreams, she woke quietly, in the morning, with dried tears and an aching heart.
Victoria Aveyard (Queen Song (Red Queen, #0.1))