Prison Break Quotes

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

Accepting the facts is always tough, so we search for forgiveness to this universe everyday to break the shackles, hurt is a prison and I from a very young young age refused to be held prisoner or even conform.
Aidan Mc Nally (TWO sons TOO many)
For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree. I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind. But finally, finally, I have learned to break free.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
Things break all the time. Glass and dishes and fingernails. Cars and contracts and potato chips. You can break a record, a horse, a dollar. You can break the ice. There are coffee breaks and lunch breaks and prison breaks. Day breaks, waves break, voices break. Chains can be broken. So can silence, and fever... promises break. Hearts break.
Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)
When you drop a glass or a plate to the ground it makes a loud crashing sound. When a window shatters a table leg breaks or when a picture falls off the wall it makes a noise. But as for your heart when that breaks it s completely silent. You would think as it s so important it would make the loudest noise in the whole world or even have some ... Read Moresort of ceremonious sound like the gong of a cymbal or the ringing of a bell. But it s silent and you almost wish there was a noise to distract you from the pain. If there is a noise it s internal. It screams and no one can hear it but you. It screams so loud your ears ring and your head aches. It trashes around in your chest like a great white shark caught in the sea it roars like a mother bear whose cub has been taken. That s what it looks like and that s what it sounds like a trashing panicking trapped great big beast roaring like a prisoner to its own emotions. But that s the thing about love no one is untouchable.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
I have to spring a cat out of Rumelt Animal Shelter. Think of it as a prison break." It does the trick. He laughs. "Whose cat?" "My cat. What do you think? That I break out the cats of strangers?" "Let me guess, she was framed. She's innocent.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.
Robert Anton Wilson (Cosmic Trigger 2: Down to Earth)
I took an oath June. I am still bound by that oath. I will die with honor for sacrificing everything I have-everything-for my country.. And yet, Day is a legend, while I am to be executed." His voice finally breaks with all his anger and inner torment, the injustice he feels. "It makes no sense." I stand up. Behind me, guards move toward the cell door. "You're wrong," I say sadly. "It makes perfect sense." "Why?" "Because Day chose to walk in the light." I turn my back on him for the last time. The door opens; the cell's bars make way for the hall, a new rotation of prison guards, freedom. "And so did Metias.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
Sometimes your belief system is really your fears attached to rules.
Shannon L. Alder
but what should we do when the highborn and wealthy take to crime? Indeed, if a poor man will spend a year in prison for stealing out of hunger, how high would the gallows need to be to hang the rich man who breaks the law out of greed?
Terry Pratchett (Snuff (Discworld, #39; City Watch #8))
Often a man endures for several years, submits and suffers the cruellest punishments, and then suddenly breaks out over some minute trifle, almost nothing at all.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The House of the Dead)
There are no guarantees with finally being honest and coming clean with people. Sometimes you don’t win love back. Sometimes you lose the love you had. Sometimes you crush people that cared. Sometimes you break apart families. Sometimes you lose your career. Sometimes you lose your way of life. Sometimes you end up worse off than you were before. However, you walk away with a heart free from lies, regret and you have closure. Within time, you find yourself in a life that is far from the prison you once lived in. This type of freedom is the scariest road you will ever travel. However, it is the road God will never let you travel alone.
Shannon L. Alder
However small we are, we should always fight for what we believe to be right. And I don’t mean fight with the power of our fists or the power of our swords…I mean the power of our brains and our thoughts and our dreams. And as small and quiet and unimportant as our fighting may look, perhaps we might all work together…and break out of the prisons of our own making. Perhaps we might be able to keep this fierce and beautiful world of ours as free for all of us as it seemed to be on that blue afternoon of my childhood.
Cressida Cowell (How to Speak Dragonese (How to Train Your Dragon, #3))
Back to prison. Maybe if you fake a heart attack, I can make a break for it. (Rose Hathaway says to Lissa Dragomir)
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
I'm playing 'chicken' with a kid called 'Robin.' I don't know why he's showing off. I don't know why I'm going along with it. I don't even know where we're going. It could be a robbery. Or prison break. A gang war. Or free donuts at Lenny's. He sees that Bat-signal in the sky and takes off. Like a bird out of Hell. And he just expects me to follow him. And I do.
Chuck Dixon (Batgirl: Year One)
Sticks and stones can break my bones and I have my Swiss Army Knife if they hit me and if I kill them it will be self defense and I won't go to prison.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
We made it,' he shouted. 'Not bad for a prison break, eh?' 'Good thinking Jake.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, And I intend to end up there. This drunkenness began in some other tavern. When I get back around to that place, I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile, I'm like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary. The day is coming when I fly off, But who is it now in my ear who hears my voice? Who says words with my mouth? Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking. If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison for drunks. I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way. Whoever brought me here will have to take me home. This poetry. I never know what I'm going to say. I don't plan it. When I'm outside the saying of it, I get very quiet and rarely speak at all. We have a huge barrel of wine, but no cups. That's fine with us. Every morning We glow and in the evening we glow again.
Rumi
The things people say of a man do not alter a man. He is what he is. Public opinion is of no value whatsoever. Even if people employ actual violence, they are not to be violent in turn. That would be to fall to the same low level. After all, even in prison, a man can be quite free. His soul can be free. His personality can be untroubled. He can be at peace. And, above all things, they are not to interfere with other people or judge them in any way. Personality is a very mysterious thing. A man cannot always be estimated by what he does. He may keep the law, and yet be worthless. He may break the law, and yet be fine. He may be bad, without ever doing anything bad. He may commit a sin against society, and yet realize through that sin his true perfection.
Oscar Wilde (The Soul of Man Under Socialism)
Nothing in this world is hidden forever. The gold which has lain for centuries unsuspected in the ground, reveals itself one day on the surface. Sand turns traitor, and betrays the footstep that has passed over it; water gives back to the tell-tale surface the body that has been drowned. Fire itself leaves the confession, in ashes, of the substance consumed in it. Hate breaks its prison-secrecy in the thoughts, through the doorway of the eyes; and Love finds the Judas who betrays it by a kiss. Look where we will, the inevitable law of revelation is one of the laws of nature: the lasting preservation of a secret is a miracle which the world has never yet seen.
Wilkie Collins (No Name)
When we break down our prison walls and run towards freedom, we are in fact running into the more spacious exercise yard of a bigger prison.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
To this point, he could not really have said that he loved William. Feel the terror of responsibility for him, yes. Carry thought of him like a gem in his pocket, certainly, reaching now and then to touch it, marveling. But now he felt the perfection of the tiny bones of William’s spine through his clothes, smooth as marbles under his fingers, smelled the scent of him, rich with the incense of innocence and the faint tang of shit and clean linen. And thought his heart would break with love.
Diana Gabaldon (The Scottish Prisoner (Lord John Grey, #3))
...bars can't build better men and misery can only break what goodness remains.
Stuart Turton (The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle)
'Not spoiling' a child means trying to break that child's spirit.
Dorothy Rowe (Depression: The Way Out of Your Prison)
A mind that dwells in the past builds a prison it cannot escape. Control your mind, or it will control you, and you will never break through the walls it builds.
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis Plague (The Origin Mystery, #2))
These men are in prison: that is the Outsider’s verdict. They are quite contented in prison—caged animals who have never known freedom; but it is prison all the same. And the Outsider? He is in prison too: nearly every Outsider in this book has told us so in a different language; but he knows it. His desire is to escape. But a prison-break is not an easy matter; you must know all about your prison, otherwise you might spend years in tunnelling, like the Abbe in The Count of Monte Cristo, and only find yourself in the next cell.
Colin Wilson (The Outsider)
A heart as hard as granite was slowly transformed to a heart ready to give and receive compassion. The story of the prince does that to men. It breaks them down, removes the rubble, and builds a castle where there once was a prison.
Chuck Black
Indeed, if a poor man will spend a year in prison for stealing out of hunger, how high would the gallows need to be to hang the rich man who breaks the law out of greed?
Terry Pratchett (Snuff (Discworld, #39))
I’ll get you wetter than a banana in a women's prison.
Courtney Lane (The Sordid Promise (Breaking Insanity #1))
[Prison Break is] one of the craziest, most unpredictable roller-coaster rides on TV today.
Stephen King
I supposed images of an evil god who wanted to break free of his mythological prison and enslave the whole world weren't any scarier than a guy wearing big red shoes,yellow plaid pants,and white face paint.Clowns had always creeped me out. They were so not funny.
Jennifer Estep (Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy, #2))
By creating a new mythos - that is, a change in the way we perceive reality, the way we see ourselves, and the ways we behave - la mestiza creates a new consciousness. The work of mestiza consciousness is to break down the subject/object duality that keeps her prisoner and to show in the flesh and through the images in her work how duality is transcended. The answer to the problem between the white race and the colored, between males and females, lies in healing the split that originates in the very foundation of our lives, our culture, our languages, our thoughts. A massive uprooting of dualistic thinking in the individual and collective consciousness is the beginning of a long struggle, but one that could, in our best hopes, bring us to the end of rape, of violence, of war.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,and I intend to end up there. Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking. If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison for drunks. I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way. Whoever brought me here, will have to take me home.
Rumi
Reason is the hero who breaks the chains of our prejudice, saving us from the prison of our comfortable acquiescence in the way of the world.
Montague Brown
During the days I felt myself slipping into a kind of madness. Solitary confinement has an astonishing effect on the mind. The trip was to stay calm and keep myself occupied. I spent hours working out how to break free. But trying to escape would have been instant suicide.
Tahir Shah (Travels With Myself)
Hey you, dragging the halo- how about a holiday in the islands of grief? Tongue is the word I wish to have with you. Your eyes are so blue they leak. Your legs are longer than a prisoner's last night on death row. I'm filthier than the coal miner's bathtub and nastier than the breath of Charles Bukowski. You're a dirty little windshield. I'm standing behind you on the subway, hard as calculus. My breath be sticking to your neck like graffiti. I'm sitting opposite you in the bar, waiting for you to uncross your boundaries. I want to rip off your logic and make passionate sense to you. I want to ride in the swing of your hips. My fingers will dig in you like quotation marks, blazing your limbs into parts of speech. But with me for a lover, you won't need catastrophes. What attracted me in the first place will ultimately make me resent you. I'll start telling you lies, and my lies will sparkle, become the bad stars you chart your life by. I'll stare at other women so blatantly you'll hear my eyes peeling, because sex with you is like Great Britain: cold, groggy, and a little uptight. Your bed is a big, soft calculator where my problems multiply. Your brain is a garage I park my bullshit in, for free. You're not really my new girlfriend, just another flop sequel of the first one, who was based on the true story of my mother. You're so ugly I forgot how to spell. I'll cheat on you like a ninth grade math test, break your heart just for the sound it makes. You're the 'this' we need to put an end to. The more you apologize, the less I forgive you. So how about it?
Jeffrey McDaniel
All great nations spend peacetime preparing for the day war breaks out.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight … the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant’s aid, greater and more terrible than ever he was. Tonight … before midnight … the servant … will set out … to rejoin … his master. …
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Allah gives us gifts, but then we come to love them as we should only love Him. We take those gifts and inject them into our hearts, until they take over. Soon we cannot live without them. Every waking moment is spent in contemplation of them, in submission and worship to them. The mind and the heart that was created by Allah, for Allah, becomes the property of someone or something else. And then the fear comes. The fear of loss begins to cripple us. The gift—that should have remained in our hands—takes over our heart, so the fear of losing it consumes us. Soon, what was once a gift becomes a weapon of torture and a prison of our own making. How can we be freed of this? At times, in His infinite mercy, Allah frees us…by taking it away. As a result of it being taken, we turn to Allah wholeheartedly. In that desperation and need, we ask, we beg, we pray. Through the loss, we reach a level of sincerity and humility and dependence on Him which we would otherwise not reach—had it not been taken from us. Through the loss, our hearts turn entirely to face Him.
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life's Shackles)
Being a copper I like to see the law win. I'd like to see the flashy well-dressed mugs like Eddie Mars spoiling their manicures in the rock quarry at Folsom, alongside of the poor little slum-bred guys that got knocked over on their first caper amd never had a break since. That's what I'd like. You and me both lived too long to think I'm likely to see it happen. Not in this town, not in any town half this size, in any part of this wide, green and beautiful U.S.A. We just don't run our country that way.
Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe #1))
Things break all the time. Glass, and dishes, and fingernails. Cars and contracts and potato chips. You can break a record, a horse, a dollar. You can break the ice. There are coffee breaks and lunch breaks and prison breaks. Day breaks, waves break, voices break. Chains can be broken. So can silence and fever. Promises break. Hearts break. Fault lines: these are the places where the earth breaks apart, these are the spots where earthquakes originate, where volcanoes are born. Or in other words: the world is crumbling under us; it's the solid ground beneath our feet that's an illusion.
Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)
A heart as hard as granite was slowly transformed to a heart ready to five and receive compassion. The story of the prince does that to men. It breaks them down, removes the rubble, and builds a castle where there once was a prison.
Chuck Black
If you are in a prison of fear ... break out!
Stephen Richards
There have been times when I could have succumbed to some form of bribe, or could have had my way by offering one. But ever since that night in Dover prison I have never been tempted to break my vow.. My Parents always drummed into me that all you have life is your reputation: you may be very rich, but if you lose your good name you'll never be happy.
Richard Branson (Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way)
...by the time we understand the pattern we are in, the definition we are making for ourselves, it's too late to break out of the box. We can only live in terms of the definition, like the prisoner in the cage in which he cannot lie or stand or sit, hung up in justice to be viewed by the populace. Yet the definition we have made of ourselves is ourselves. To break out of it, we must make a new self. But how can the self make a new self when the selfness which it is, is the only substance from which the new self can be made?
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
In music, sometimes a man will feel that he comes to the edge of breaking out from prison bars of existence, breaking out from the universe altogether. There is a sense that the goal is at hand; that the boundary wall of the universe is crumbling and will be breached at the next moment, when the soul will pass out free into the infinite.
Walter Terence Stace (Mysticism and Philosophy)
What sort of party is this?" Lucy asks, staring at a group of guys who look like they walked off the set of Prison Break. "The fun kind," Leo says. "Go have some. We'll find you after I talk to my brother." "The fun kind?" Lucy shouts to Jazz. "I'm pretty sure I saw that guy over there on 'Crime Stoppers' last week." She's right. She did.
Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon)
Many individuals are so constituted that their only thought is to obtain pleasure and shun responsibility. They would like, butterfly-like, to wing forever in a summer garden, flitting from flower to flower, and sipping honey for their sole delight. They have no feeling that any result which might flow from their action should concern them. They have no conception of the necessity of a well-organized society wherein all shall accept a certain quota of responsibility and all realize a reasonable amount of happiness. They think only of themselves because they have not yet been taught to think of society. For them pain and necessity are the great taskmasters. Laws are but the fences which circumscribe the sphere of their operations. When, after error, pain falls as a lash, they do not comprehend that their suffering is due to misbehavior. Many such an individual is so lashed by necessity and law that he falls fainting to the ground, dies hungry in the gutter or rotting in the jail and it never once flashes across his mind that he has been lashed only in so far as he has persisted in attempting to trespass the boundaries which necessity sets. A prisoner of fate, held enchained for his own delight, he does not know that the walls are tall, that the sentinels of life are forever pacing, musket in hand. He cannot perceive that all joy is within and not without. He must be for scaling the bounds of society, for overpowering the sentinel. When we hear the cries of the individual strung up by the thumbs, when we hear the ominous shot which marks the end of another victim who has thought to break loose, we may be sure that in another instance life has been misunderstood--we may be sure that society has been struggled against until death alone would stop the individual from contention and evil.
Theodore Dreiser (Sister Carrie)
This was 1941 and I'd been in prison eleven years. I was thirty-five. I'd spent the best years of my life either in a cell or in a black-hole. I'd only had seven months of total freedom with my Indian tribe. The children my Indian wives must have had by me would be eight years old now. How terrible! How quickly the time had flashed by! But a backward glance showed all these hours and minutes studding my calvary as terribly long, and each one of them hard to bear.
Henri Charrière (Papillon)
When you lose your freedom, you lose, first and foremost, the opportunity to choose the company you keep.
Masha Gessen (Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot)
Elections and political discourse are ill-suited for fact-specific and nuanced discussion of complicated issues.
Rachel Elise Barkow (Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration)
Lest we forget, the birth of modern physics and cosmology was achieved by Galileo, Kepler and Newton breaking free not from the close confining prison of faith (all three were believing Christians, of one sort or another) but from the enormous burden of the millennial authority of Aristotelian science. The scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was not a revival of Hellenistic science but its final defeat.
David Bentley Hart (Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies)
Those who in the name of Faith embrace illusion, kill and are killed. Even the atheist gets God's blessings- Does not boast of his religion; With reverence he lights the lamp of Reason And pays his homage not to scriptures, But to the good in man. The bigot insults his own religion When he slays a man of another faith. Conduct he judges not in the light of Reason; In the temple he raises the blood-stained banner And worships the devil in the name of God. All that is shameful and barbarous through the Ages, Has found a shelter in their temples- Those they turn into prisons; O, I hear the trumpet call of Destruction! Time comes with her great broom Sweeping all refuse away. That which should make man free, They turn into fetters; That which should unite, They turn into sword; That which should bring love From the fountain of the Eternal, They turn into prison And with its waves they flood the world. They try to cross the river In a bark riddled with holes; And yet, in their anguish, whom do they blame? O Lord, breaking false religion, Save the blind! Break! O break The alter that is drowned in blood. Let your thunder strike Into the prison of false religion, And bring to this unhappy land The light of Knowledge.
Rabindranath Tagore
Abolition is not some disstant future but something we create in every moment when we say no to the traps of empire and yes to the nourishing possibilities dreamed of and practiced by our ancestors and friends. Every time we insist on accessible and affirming health care, safe and quality education, meaningful and secure employment, loving and healing relationships, and being our full and whole selves, we are doing abolition. Abolition is about breaking down things that oppress and building up things that nourish. Abolition is the practice of transformation in the here and now and the ever after.
Eric A. Stanley (Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex)
It is love. I will have to run or hide. The walls of its prison rise up, as in a twisted dream. The beautiful mask has changed, but as always it is the one. Of what use are my talismans: the literary exercises, the vague erudition, the knowledge of words used by the harsh North to sing its seas and swords, the temperate friendship, the galleries of the Library, the common things, the habits, the young love of my mother, the militant shadow of my dead, the timeless night, the taste of dreams? Being with you or being without you is the measure of my time. Now the pitcher breaks about the spring, now the man arises to the sound of birds, now those that watch at the windows have gone dark, but the darkness has brought no peace. It, I know, is love: the anxiety and the relief at hearing your voice, the expectation and the memory, the horror of living in succession. It is love with its mythologies, with its tiny useless magics. There exists a corner that I dare not cross. Now the armies confine me, the hordes. (This room is unreal; she has not seen it.) The name of a woman gives me away. A woman hurts me in all of my body.
Jorge Luis Borges
Prisons are built to break men, and when men are broken society has consummated its revenge
Jan Valtin (Out of the Night: The Memoir of Richard Julius Herman Krebs alias Jan Valtin)
There is a prison that we all have to break free from...It’s called I, ME, MY, MINE!
Lenita Vangellis
Man is complete in himself. When they go into the world, the world will disagree with them. That is inevitable. The world hates Individualism. But that is not to trouble them. They are to be calm and self-centred. If a man takes their cloak, they are to give him their coat, just to show that material things are of no importance. If people abuse them, they are not to answer back. What does it signify? The things people say of a man do not alter a man. He is what he is. Public opinion is of no value whatsoever. Even if people employ actual violence, they are not to be violent in turn. That would be to fall to the same low level. After all, even in prison, a man can be quite free. His soul can be free. His personality can be untroubled. He can be at peace. And, above all things, they are not to interfere with other people or judge them in any way. Personality is a very mysterious thing. A man cannot always be estimated by what he does. He may keep the law, and yet be worthless. He may break the law, and yet be fine. He may be bad, without ever doing anything bad. He may commit a sin against society, and yet realise through that sin his true perfection.
Oscar Wilde (Der Sozialismus und die Seele des Menschen)
Most people end up being conformists; they adapt to prison life. A few become reformers; they fight for better lighting, better ventilation. Hardly anyone becomes a rebel, a revolutionary who breaks down the prison walls. You can only be a revolutionary when you see the prison walls in the first place.
Anthony de Mello
Why do decent young men and women become bullies? Why do soldiers dream of being heroes but end up abusing prisoners and shooting civilians? Why do politicians become corrupt? Why do cops beat suspects senseless and break the laws they’re meant to protect?
Louise Penny (How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9))
The cliche about prison life is that I am actually integrated into it, ruined by it, when my accommodation to it is so overwhelming that I can no longer stand or even imagine freedom, life outside prison, so that my release brings about a total psychic breakdown, or at least gives rise to a longing for the lost safety of prison life. The actual dialectic of prison life, however, is somewhat more refined. Prison in effect destroys me, attains a total hold over me, precisely when I do not fully consent to the fact that I am in prison but maintain a kind of inner distance towards it, stick to the illusion that ‘real life is elsewhere’ and indulge all the time in daydreaming about life outside, about nice things that are waiting for me after my release or escape. I thereby get caught in the vicious cycle of fantasy, so that when, eventually, I am released, the grotesque discord between fantasy and reality breaks me down. The only true solution is therefore fully to accept the rules of prison life and then, within the universe governed by these rules, to work out a way to beat them. In short, inner distance and daydreaming about Life Elsewhere in effect enchain me to prison, whereas full acceptance of the fact that I am really there, bound by prison rules, opens up a space for true hope.
Slavoj Žižek
He saw her as the passionate spirit of innocent youth, now beleaguered by the trick which is played on youth - the trick of treachery in the body, which turns flesh into green bones. Her stupid finery was not vulgar to him, but touching. The girl was still there, still appealing from behind the breaking barricade of rouge. She had made the brave protest: I will not be vanquished. Under the clumsy coquetry, the undignified clothes, there was the human cry for help. The young eyes were puzzled, saying: It is I, inside here - what have they done to me? I will not submit. Some part of her spirit knew that the powder was making a guy of her, and hated it, and tried to hold her lover with the eyes alone. They said: Don't look at all this. Look at me. I am still here, in the eyes. Look at me, here in the prison, and help me out. Another part said: I am not old, it is illusion. I am beautifully made-up. See, I will perform the movements of youth. I will defy the enormous army of age.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
Prison is designed to break one's spirit and destroy one's resolve. To do this, the authorities attempt to exploit every weakness, demolish every initiative, negate all signs of individuality--all with the idea of stamping out that spark that makes each of us human and each of us who we are.
Nelson Mandela (Long Walk to Freedom)
I hear You saying to me: "I will give you what you desire. I will lead you into solitude. I will lead you by the way that you cannot possibly understand, because I want it to be the quickest way. "Therefore all the things around you will be armed against you, to deny you, to hurt you, to give you pain, and therefore to reduce you to solitude. "Because of their enmity, you will soon be left alone. They will cast you out and forsake you and reject you and you will be alone. "Everything that touches you shall burn you, and you will draw your hand away in pain, until you have withdrawn yourself from all things. Then you will be all alone. "Everything that can be desired will sear you, and brand you with a cautery, and you will fly from it in pain, to be alone. Every created joy will only come to you as pain, and you will die to all joy and be left alone. All the good things that other people love and desire and seek will come to you, but only as murderers to cut you off from the world and its occupations. "You will be praised, and it will be like burning at the stake. You will be loved, and it will murder your heart and drive you into the desert. "You will have gifts, and they will break you with their burden. You will have pleasures of prayer, and they will sicken you and you will fly from them. "And when you have been praised a little and loved a little I will take away all your gifts and all your love and all your praise and you will be utterly forgotten and abandoned and you will be nothing, a dead thing, a rejection. And in that day you shall being to possess the solitude you have so long desired. And your solitude will bear immense fruit in the souls of men you will never see on earth. "Do not ask when it will be or where it will be or how it will be: On a mountain or in a prison, in a desert or in a concentration camp or in a hospital or at Gethsemani. It does not matter. So do not ask me, because I am not going to tell you. You will not know until you are in it. "But you shall taste the true solitude of my anguish and my poverty and I shall lead you into the high places of my joy and you shall die in Me and find all things in My mercy which has created you for this end and brought you from Prades to Bermuda to St. Antonin to Oakham to London to Cambridge to Rome to New York to Columbia to Corpus Christi to St. Bonaventure to the Cistercian Abbey of the poor men who labor in Gethsemani: "That you may become the brother of God and learn to know the Christ of the burnt men.
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
See this abdicated beast, once king Of them all, nibble his claws: Not anger enough left—no, nor despair— To break his teeth on the bars.
Cecil Day-Lewis (The Complete Poems of C. Day Lewis)
The part of our being (mentality, feeling, physicality) which is free of all control let's call our 'unconscious'. Since it's free of control, it's our only defense against institutionalized meaning, institutionalized language, control, fixation, judgement, prison. Ten years ago, it seemed possible to destroy language through language: to destroy language that normalizes and controls by cutting that language. Nonsense would attack the empire-making (empirical) empire of language, the prisons of meaning. But this nonsense, since it depended on sense, simply pointed back to the normalizing institutions. What is the language of the 'unconcious'? (If this ideal unconscious or freedom doesn't exist: simply pretend that it does, use fiction, for the sake of survival, for all of our survival.) Its primary language must be taboo, all that is forbidden. Thus an attack on the institutions of prison via language would demand the use of language or languages that are which aren't acceptable, which are forbidden. Language, on one level, constitutes a series of codes and social and historical agreements. Nonsense doesn't per se break down the codes; speaking precisely that which the codes forbid breaks the codes.
Kathy Acker (Empire of the Senseless)
Prison is designed to break one’s spirit and destroy one’s resolve. To do this, the authorities attempt to exploit every weakness, demolish every initiative, negate all signs of individuality—all with the idea of stamping out that spark that makes each of us human and each of us who we are. Our survival depended on understanding what the authorities were attempting to do to us, and sharing that understanding with each other. —Nelson Mandela
Albert Woodfox (Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement)
But you who walk facing the sun, what images drawn on the earth can hold you? You who travel with the wind, what weathervane shall direct your course? What man's law shall bind you if you break your yoke but upon no man's prison door? What laws shall you fear if you dance but stumble against no man's iron chains? And who is he that shall bring you to judgment if you tear off your garment yet leave it in no man's path? People of Orphalese, you can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?
Kahlil Gibran
But I could end up in prison.” He waved off her concern. “I’d break you out.” “You’d do that for me?” “You’re my daughter, aren’t you?” Kate smiled. Sure, he’d missed a lot of Christmases and birthdays during her childhood, but not many fathers could be counted on to mount a prison break.
Janet Evanovich (The Heist (Fox and O'Hare, #1))
It is the case that, albeit to a lesser extent, all fictions make their readers live "the impossible", taking them out of themselves, breaking down barriers, and making them share, by identifying with the characters of the illusion, a life that is richer, more intense, or more abject and violent, or simply different from the one that they are confined to by the high-security prison that is real life. Fictions exist because of this fact. Because we have only one life, and our desires and fantasies demand a thousand lives. Because the abyss between what we are and what we would like to be has to be bridged somehow. That was why fictions were born: so that, through living this vicarious, transient, precarious, but also passionate and fascinating life that fiction transports us to, we can incorporate the impossible into the possible and our existence can be both reality and unreality, history and fable, concrete life and marvellous adventure.
Mario Vargas Llosa (The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and Les Misérables)
Unless we press the limits, unless we stretch and expand them, unless we can accept at least the possibility that we may be wrong, or blinkered, or wrapped in our own habitual and familiar vision, we will never even see the prison bars we have constructed, let alone be able to break free of them.
Sue Vincent
Badreya whispered in her ear, “The price of freedom is high, Bodour, and there is no writing without freedom. Break your chains, Bodour, break free of your prison and reach out for the forbidden tree. If you eat from it, you will not die, for knowledge leads you to life and not to death. You will live forever.
Nawal El Saadawi (Zeina)
All the other children at my school are stupid. Except I'm not meant to call them stupid, even though this is what they are. I'm meant to say that they have learning difficulties or that they have special needs. But this is stupid because everyone has learning difficulties because learning to speak French or understanding relativity is difficult and also everyone has special needs, like Father, who has to carry a little packet of artificial sweetening tablets around with him to put in his coffee to stop him from getting fat, or Mrs. Peters, who wears a beige-colored hearing aid, or Siobhan, who has glasses so thick that they give you a headache if you borrow them, and none of these people are Special Needs, even if they have special needs. But Siobhan said we have to use those words because people used to call children like the children at school spaz and crip and mong, which were nasty words. But that is stupid too because sometimes the children from the school down the road see us in the street when we're getting off the bus and they shout, "Special Needs! Special Needs!" But I don't take any notice because I don't listen to what other people say and only sticks and stones can break my bones and I have a Swiss Army knife if they hit me and if I kill them it will be self-defense and I won't go to prison.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
Plato would hardly need to change a single word of his myth of the cave. Our knowledge would not be able to furnish an answer to his anxiety, his disquietude, his "premonitions." The world would remain for him, "in the light" of our "positive" sciences, what it was - a dark and sorrowful subterranean region - and we would seem to him like chained prisoners. Life would again have to make superhuman efforts, "as in a battle," to break open for himself a path through the truths created by the sciences which "dream of being but cannot see it in waking reality." [1] In brief, Aristotle would bless our knowledge while Plato would curse it.
Lev Shestov (Athens and Jerusalem)
I haven’t even known for a week! I found out who I was the day after the ball, when I was sitting in a jail cell preparing to be handed over to Levana like a trophy. So between breaking out of prison and running from the entire Commonwealth military and trying to save your life, I haven’t had much time to overthrow an entire regime. I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed you, but what do you want me to do?
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
MY BETH. Sitting patient in the shadow Till the blessed light shall come, A serene and saintly presence Sanctifies our troubled home. Earthly joys and hopes and sorrows Break like ripples on the strand Of the deep and solemn river Where her willing feet now stand. O my sister, passing from me, Out of human care and strife, Leave me, as a gift, those virtues Which have beautified your life. Dear, bequeath me that great patience Which has power to sustain A cheerful, uncomplaining spirit In its prison-house of pain. Give me, for I need it sorely, Of that courage, wise and sweet, Which has made the path of duty Green beneath your willing feet. Give me that unselfish nature, That with charity divine Can pardon wrong for love's dear sake— Meek heart, forgive me mine! Thus our parting daily loseth Something of its bitter pain, And while learning this hard lesson, My great loss becomes my gain. For the touch of grief will render My wild nature more serene, Give to life new aspirations, A new trust in the unseen. Henceforth, safe across the river, I shall see for evermore A beloved, household spirit Waiting for me on the shore. Hope and faith, born of my sorrow, Guardian angels shall become, And the sister gone before me By their hands shall lead me home.
Louisa May Alcott (Good Wives)
To American ears, the Filipino pronunciation of the word "evacuate" sounded more like "bokweet." They soon further Americanized it to "buckwheat," which would become guerilla slang meaning to place as much distance between oneself and the Japanese as possible.
John D. Lukacs (Escape From Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War)
Some men seem to know exactly where their opportunities lie; they break prisons and cross whole Siberias to pursue them. One room holds me.
Saul Bellow (Dangling Man)
Half of the population is behind bars and the other half is guarding them,' Russians have said of their country since the times of Stalin.
Masha Gessen (Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot)
Fear. “The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think.” —David Icke
Erik Myers (Overcoming Shyness: Break Out of Your Shell and Express Your True Self)
riot by breaking into the armory,
Robloxia Kid (Diary of a Roblox Noob: Prison Life (Roblox Noob Diaries Book 1))
Papa, you were right. Love did come after security.
Jade Onyx (Prison Break: A Hispanic & Latino BDSM Erotic Romance)
It's when you feel worse, that's when your character comes out and the last thing you want to do is quit.
Paul T. Scheuring (The Far Shore)
Not having to force yourself to love or hate, is liberating.
Nahiar Ozar
The raging rocks And shivering shocks Shall break the locks        Of prison gates: And Phibbus' car Shall shine from far, And make and mar        The foolish Fates.
William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream)
The desert was a prison without bars. Her fear was her shackles.
Wiss Auguste (The Illusions of Hope)
the Christian gospel is more of a prison break than a battle.
Timothy J. Keller (Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism)
Every act of will is an act of self-limitation. To desire action is to desire limitation. In that sense, every act is an act of self-sacrifice. When you choose anything, you reject everything else... Every act is an irrevocable selection and exclusion. Just as when you marry one woman you give up all the others, so when you take one course of action you give up all the other courses… Art is limitation; the essence of every picture is the frame. If you draw a giraffe, you must draw him with a long neck. If, in you bold creative way, you hold yourself free to draw a giraffe with a short neck, you will really find that you are not free to draw a giraffe. The moment you step into the world of facts, you step into a world of limits. You can free things from alien or accidental laws, but not from the laws of their own nature. You may, if you like, free a tiger from his bars; but do not free him from his stripes. Do not free a camel from the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel. Do not go about as a demagogue, encouraging triangles to break out of the prison of their three sides. If a triangle breaks out of its three sides, its life comes to a lamentable end. Somebody wrote a work called “The Loves of the Triangles”; I never read it, but I am sure that if triangles ever were loved, they were loved for being triangular. This is certainly the case with all artistic creation, which is in some ways the most decisive example of pure will. The artist loves his limitations: they constitute the thing he is doing.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Fear was a poison. Fear was a prison. Fear was the bridesmaid of regret, the butcher of amibition. The bleak forever between forward and backward. Fear was can't. Fear was won't. But fear wasn't ever a choice. To never fear was to never hope, never love, never live. To never fear the dark was to never smile as the dawn kissed your face. To never fear solitude was to never know the joy of a beauty in your arms. Part of having is the fear of losing. Part of creating is the fear of it breaking. Part of beginning is the fear of your ending. Fear is never a choice.
Jay Kristoff (Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3))
Life ascends; matter descends. Matter is the mountain that offers resistance to the climber. Matter, just as the Gnostics said, is a trap, a prison for the life force. The soul is forever striving to break free and express itself fully in its own terms, unrestricted by material constraints.
Mike Hockney (Hyperreason)
A revolutionary war of freedom, he said” Hiawatha responded crisply, “and I agree… does Superman ever fly to Thailand and free the kids slaving in the sweat shops owned by the rich corporations? No, he doesn’t. Does Batman ever break into prison and free the wrongfully convicted and over sentenced black man whose rights were trampled on when he was incarcerated? No, he doesn’t. Does Spider man ever break into a house in suburbia and beat up the abusive and violent husband? No, he doesn’t.” “Do the Fantastic Four ever fly out to third world countries and defend the rights of the poor civilians against greedy American corporations? No, they don’t,” said the Pirate, not to be outdone. “They’re all just tools used by the state to maintain the status quo,” said Hiawatha.
Arun D. Ellis (Corpalism)
I account this body nothing but a close prison to my soul; and the earth a larger prison to my body. I may not break prison till I be loosed by death; but I will leave it, not unwillingly,when I am loosed.
Joseph Hall
I saw a lot of men die there. Most men. Do you know what killed them?”…”Despair,” said Finney. “They believed themselves to be prisoners. I lived with those men, ate the same maggot-infested food, slept in the same beds, did the same back-breaking work. But they died and I lived. Do you know why?” “You were free.” “I was free. Milton was right…the mind is its own place. I was never a prisoner. Not then, not now.
Louise Penny (A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4))
The life we led was a proof of man's capacity for adaptation.I think that even the condemned souls in purgatory after time develop a sort of homely routine.That is ,by the way, why most prison memoirs are unreadable.The difficulty of conveying to the reader an idea of a nightmare world from which he has emerged makes the author depict the prisoner's state of mind as an uninterruped continuity of despair.He fears to appear frivolous or to spoil his effect by admitting that even in the depths of misery cheerfulness keeps breaking in.
Arthur Koestler (Scum of the Earth)
The forge and dove shall break the cage. Wasn’t that the prophecy line? That meant Piper and he would have to figure out how to break into that magic rock prison, assuming they could find it. Then they’d unleash Hera’s rage, causing a lot of death. Well, that sounded fun! Leo had seen Tía Callida in action; she liked knives, snakes, and putting babies in roaring fires. Yeah, definitely let’s unleash her rage. Great idea. Festus kept flying. The wind got colder, and below them snowy forests seemed to go on forever. Leo didn’t know exactly where Quebec was. He’d told Festus to take them to the palace of Boreas, and Festus kept going north. Hopefully, the dragon knew the way, and they wouldn’t end up at the North Pole. “Why don’t you get some sleep?” Piper said in his ear. “You were up all night.” Leo wanted to protest, but the word sleep sounded really good. “You won’t let me fall off?” Piper patted his shoulder. “Trust me, Valdez. Beautiful people never lie.” “Right,” he muttered. He leaned forward against the warm bronze of the dragon’s neck, and closed his eyes.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Robert Browning
He refused to think about it. Qian’s words echoed to him: “A mind that dwells in the past builds a prison it cannot escape. Control your mind, or it will control you, and you will never break through the walls it builds.” Milo
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis Plague (The Origin Mystery, #2))
KING EDWARD IV: Now my soul's palace is become a prison; Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body Might in the ground be closed up in rest! For never henceforth shall I joy again, Never, O never, shall I see more joy!
William Shakespeare (King Henry VI, Part 3)
I want to say right here, that those well-meaning friends on the outside who say that we have suffered these horrors of prison, of hunger strikes and forcible feeding, because we desired to martyrise ourselves for the cause, are absolutely and entirely mistaken. We never went to prison in order to be martyrs. We went there in order that we might obtain the rights of citizenship. We were willing to break laws that we might force men to give us the right to make laws.
Emmeline Pankhurst
~Remember this always: Your body and mind can be broken, but your Spirit, is unbreakable, and unchangeable~ When we talk about people or circumstances breaking our spirit, what we mean is that a person has been affected emotionally to the point of feeling broken; however, NOTHING in this world has the capacity to break or change our Spirit! Our Spirit is what gives us the ability to overcome the misery and suffering experienced by our body and mind. Our spirit is what drives prisoners of war come out unbroken; our spirit is what drives the victims of rape and abuse to overcome the emotional burdens of their mind. Believe this! NOTHING can break or change your Spirit, because your spirit is above all things!
Martin Suarez
He felt a sadness that was unlike any sadness he had ever felt, unlike any heartache he had ever experienced. It was breaking him from the inside, eating away at him, torturing him and he needed to not feel it. He needed to not feel anything.
Kol Anderson (The Prisoner (Broken, #1-3))
That's how, on the second-to-last day of the job, the convict crew that tarred the plate-factory roof in 1950 ending up sitting in a row at ten o'clock on a spring morning, drinking Black Label beer supplied by the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank Prison. That beer was piss-warm, but it was still the best I ever had in my life. We sat and drank it and felt the sun on our shoulders, and not even the expression of half-amusement, half-contempt on Hadley's face - as if he was watching apes drink beer instead of men - could spoil it. It lasted twenty minutes, that beer-break, and for those twenty minutes we felt like free men. We could have been drinking beer and tarring the roof of one of our own houses.
Stephen King (Different Seasons)
When the meat platter was passed to me, I didn't even know what the meat was; usually, you couldn't tell, anyway-but it was suddenly as though _don't eat any more pork_ flashed on a screen before me. I hesitated, with the platter in mid-air; then I passed it along to the inmate waiting next to me. He began serving himself; abruptly, he stopped. I remember him turning, looking surprised at me. I said to him, "I don't eat pork." The platter then kept on down the table. It was the funniest thing, the reaction, and the way that it spread. In prison, where so little breaks the monotonous routine, the smallest thing causes a commotion of talk. It was being mentioned all over the cell block by night that Satan didn't eat pork.
Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
Milo pushed the scene from his mind. He refused to think about it. Qian’s words echoed to him: “A mind that dwells in the past builds a prison it cannot escape. Control your mind, or it will control you, and you will never break through the walls it builds.
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis Plague (The Origin Mystery, #2))
He rolled her over, rising above her, cupping her cheek. "I wasn't lying, Loree. I've always heard the music in my heart…but I lost the ability to do that when I went to prison. It was like the music just shriveled up and died. I thought I'd never hear it again. How could I play the violin if I couldn't hear the music? Then lately, I started going crazy because I'd hear snatches of music—when you'd look at me or smile at me. But I couldn't grab onto it, I couldn't hold it. Then last night, you told me that you loved me and I heard the music, so sweet, so soft. It scared me to hear it so clearly after I hadn't for so long. "Tonight, I hurt you—again. I was going to let you go, Loree. I was gonna take you back to Austin. But I heard my heart break…and I knew that's all I'd hear for the rest of my life. Don't leave me, Sugar." Joy filled her and she brushed the locks of hair back off his brow. "I won't." -Austin and Loree
Lorraine Heath (Texas Splendor (Texas Trilogy, #3))
The notion that a vast gulf exists between "criminals" and those of us who have never served time in prison is a fiction created by the racial ideology that birthed mass incarceration, namely that there is something fundamentally wrong and morally inferior about "them." The reality, though, is that all of us have done wrong. As noted earlier, studies suggest that most Americans violate drug laws in their lifetime. Indeed, most of us break the law not once but repeatedly throughout our lives. Yet only some of us will be arrested, charged, convicted of a crime, branded a criminal or a felon, and ushered into a permanent undercaste. Who becomes a social pariah and excommunicated from civil society and who trots off to college bears scant relationship to the morality of the crimes committed. Who is more blameworthy: the young black kid who hustles on the street corner, selling weed to help his momma pay rent? Or the college kid who deals drugs out of his dorm room so that he'll have cash to finance his spring break? Who should we fear? The kid in the 'hood who joined a gang and now carries a gun for security, because his neighborhood is frightening and unsafe? Or the suburban high school student who has a drinking problem but keeps getting behind the wheel? Our racially biased system of mass incarceration exploits the fact that all people break the law and make mistakes at various points in their lives with varying degrees of justification. Screwing up-failing to live by one's highest ideals and values-is part of what makes us human.
Michelle Alexander
I don't have the slightest doubt that to tell a story like this, you couldn't do it with words. There are only 46 minutes of dialogue scenes in the film, and 113 of non-dialogue. There are certain areas of feeling and reality—or unreality or innermost yearning, whatever you want to call it—which are notably inaccessible to words. Music can get into these areas. Painting can get into them. Non-verbal forms of expression can. But words are a terrible straitjacket. It's interesting how many prisoners of that straitjacket resent its being loosened or taken off. There's a side to the human personality that somehow senses that wherever the cosmic truth may lie, it doesn't lie in A, B, C, D. It lies somewhere in the mysterious, unknowable aspects of thought and life and experience. Man has always responded to it. Religion, mythology, allegories—it's always been one of the most responsive chords in man. With rationalism, modern man has tried to eliminate it, and successfully dealt some pretty jarring blows to religion. In a sense, what's happening now in films and in popular music is a reaction to the stifling limitations of rationalism. One wants to break out of the clearly arguable, demonstrable things which really are not very meaningful, or very useful or inspiring, nor does one even sense any enormous truth in them.
Stanley Kubrick
You can free things from alien or accidental laws, but not from the laws of their own nature. You may, if you like, free a tiger from his bars; but do not free him from his stripes. Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump: you may be freeing him from being a camel. Do not go about as a demagogue, encouraging triangles to break out of the prison of their three sides. If a triangle breaks out of its three sides, its life comes to a lamentable end. Somebody wrote a work called “The Loves of the Triangles”; I never read it, but I am sure that if triangles ever were loved, they were loved for being triangular.
G.K. Chesterton (The G.K. Chesterton Collection [34 Books])
Yet our ability to exercise free will and transcend the most extraordinary obstacles does not make the conditions of our life irrelevant. Most of us struggle and often fail to meet the biggest challenges of our lives. Even the smaller challenges—breaking a bad habit or sticking to a diet—often prove too difficult, even for those of us who are relatively privileged and comfortable in our daily lives. In fact, what is most remarkable about the hundreds of thousands of people who return from prison to their communities each year is not how many fail, but how many somehow manage to survive and stay out of prison against all odds.
Michelle Alexander
Outsong in the Jungle [Baloo:] For the sake of him who showed One wise Frog the Jungle-Road, Keep the Law the Man-Pack make For thy blind old Baloo's sake! Clean or tainted, hot or stale, Hold it as it were the Trail, Through the day and through the night, Questing neither left nor right. For the sake of him who loves Thee beyond all else that moves, When thy Pack would make thee pain, Say: "Tabaqui sings again." When thy Pack would work thee ill, Say: "Shere Khan is yet to kill." When the knife is drawn to slay, Keep the Law and go thy way. (Root and honey, palm and spathe, Guard a cub from harm and scathe!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! [Kaa:] Anger is the egg of Fear-- Only lidless eyes see clear. Cobra-poison none may leech-- Even so with Cobra-speech. Open talk shall call to thee Strength, whose mate is Courtesy. Send no lunge beyond thy length. Lend no rotten bough thy strength. Gauge thy gape with buck or goat, Lest thine eye should choke thy throat. After gorging, wouldst thou sleep ? Look thy den be hid and deep, Lest a wrong, by thee forgot, Draw thy killer to the spot. East and West and North and South, Wash thy hide and close thy mouth. (Pit and rift and blue pool-brim, Middle-Jungle follow him!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! [Bagheera:] In the cage my life began; Well I know the worth of Man. By the Broken Lock that freed-- Man-cub, ware the Man-cub's breed! Scenting-dew or starlight pale, Choose no tangled tree-cat trail. Pack or council, hunt or den, Cry no truce with Jackal-Men. Feed them silence when they say: "Come with us an easy way." Feed them silence when they seek Help of thine to hurt the weak. Make no bandar's boast of skill; Hold thy peace above the kill. Let nor call nor song nor sign Turn thee from thy hunting-line. (Morning mist or twilight clear, Serve him, Wardens of the Deer!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! [The Three:] On the trail that thou must tread To the threshold of our dread, Where the Flower blossoms red; Through the nights when thou shalt lie Prisoned from our Mother-sky, Hearing us, thy loves, go by; In the dawns when thou shalt wake To the toil thou canst not break, Heartsick for the Jungle's sake; Wood and Water, Wind air Tree, Wisdom, Strength, and Courtesy, Jungle-Favour go with thee!
Rudyard Kipling
Why is it that all the main work of breaking down human souls went on at night? Why, from their very earliest years, did the Organs select the night? Because at night, the prisoner torn from sleep, even though he has not yet been tortured by sleeplessness, lacks his normal daytime equanimity and common sense. He is more vulnerable.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (August 1914 (The Red Wheel, #1))
Our minds are all that defend us from the horror of the void. The majority of the time we simply think about something—anything—else, and that itself is an act of defiance against the vast nothing of the universe. But minds break down and stop thinking sometimes. They feel instead: A looping, gnawing monster eats away confidence and goals and even a sense of duty until we are in a dry bleak place of ennui, unable to focus on the minutiae that used to keep us moving. Tongues taste chalk and ashes, and eyes see only gray washes occasionally penetrated by bright stabs of panic. Depression is a prison to which you have the key except you never think to look for it.
Kevin Hearne (Hunted (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #6))
It’s not the drug that causes the junkie it’s the laws that causes the junkie because of course the drug laws means that he can’t go and get help because he is afraid of being arrested. He also can’t have a normal life because the war on drugs has made drugs so expensive and has made drug contracts unenforceable which means they can only be enforced through criminal violence. It becomes so profitable to sell drugs to addicts that the drug dealers have every incentive to get people addicted by offering free samples and to concentrate their drug to the highest possible dose to provoke the greatest amount of addiction as possible. Overall it is a completely staggering and completely satanic human calamity. It is the new gulag and in some ways much more brutal than the soviet gulag. In the soviet gulags there was not a huge prison rape problem and in this situation your life could be destroyed through no fault of your own through sometimes, no involvement of your own and the people who end up in the drug culture are walled off and separated as a whole and thrown into this demonic, incredibly dangerous, underworld were the quality of the drugs can’t be verified. Were contracts can’t be enforced except through breaking peoples kneecaps and the price of drugs would often led them to a life of crime. People say “well, I became a drug addict and I lost my house, family, and my job and all that.” It’s not because you became a drug addict but, because there is a war on drugs which meant that you had to pay so much for the drugs that you lost your house because you couldn't go and find help or substitutes and ended up losing your job. It’s all nonsense. The government can’t keep drugs out of prisons for heaven’s sakes. The war on drugs is not designed to be won. Its designed to continue so that the government can get the profits of drug running both directly through the CIA and other drug runners that are affiliated or through bribes and having the power of terrorizing the population. To frame someone for murder is pretty hard but to palm a packet of cocaine and say that you found it in their car is pretty damn easy and the government loves having that power." -Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux
What packages we were allowed to receive from our families often contained handkerchiefs, scarves, and other clothing items. For some time, Mike had been taking little scraps of red and white cloth, and with a needle he had fashioned from a piece of bamboo he laboriously sewed an American flag onto the inside of his blue prisoner's shirt. Every afternoon, before we ate our soup, we would hang Mike's flag on the wall of our cell and together recite the Pledge of Allegiance. No other event of the day had as much meaning to us. "The guards discovered Mike's flag one afternoon during a routine inspection and confiscated it. They returned that evening and took Mike outside. For our benefit as much as Mike's they beat him severely, just outside our cell, puncturing his eardrum and breaking several of his ribs. When they had finished, they dragged him bleeding and nearly senseless back into our cell, and we helped him crawl to his place on the sleeping platform. After things quieted down, we all lay down to go to sleep. Before drifting off, I happened to look toward a corner of the room, where one of the four naked lightbulbs that were always illuminated in our cell cast a dim light on Mike Christian. He had crawled there quietly when he thought the rest of us were sleeping. With his eyes nearly swollen shut from the beating, he had quietly picked up his needle and begun sewing a new flag.
John McCain (Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir)
Sweet, yet maddening, Kate yearned to take control and deepen the kiss, but he broke off every time she tried before catching her lower lip between his teeth as if to punish her. Their sharp edges sank into her swollen flesh without breaking the surface, his tongue immediately soothing any pain. The all-conquering, take-no-prisoners warrior had arrived.
Allie A. Burrow (Serviced: Volume 1)
If the incarceration experience doesn't break your spirit, it changes you in a way that you lose many fears. You begin to realize that your life is not ruled by your ego and ambition and that it can end any day at any time. So why worry? You learn that just like on the street, there is life in prison, and random people get there based on the jeopardy of the system. The prisons are filled by people who crossed the law, as well as by those who were incidentally and circumstantially picked and crushed by somebody else's agenda. On the other hand, as a vivid benefit, you become very much independent of material property and learn to appreciate very simple pleasures in life such as the sunlight and morning breeze.
Michael Lewis
It breaks my heart. Better than your words, your eye tells me all your peril. You are not yet free, you still search for freedom. Your search has fatigued you and made you too wakeful. You long for the open heights, your soul thirsts for the stars. But your bad instincts too thirst for freedom. Your fierce dogs long for freedom; they bark for joy in their cellar when your spirit aspires to break open all prisons. To me you are still a prisoner who imagines freedom: ah, such prisoners of the soul become clever, but also deceitful and base. The free man of the spirit, too, must still purify himself. Much of the prison and rottenness still remain within him: his eye still has to become pure. Yes, I know your peril. But, by my love and hope I entreat you: do not reject your love and hope! You still feel yourself noble, and the others, too, who dislike you and cast evil glances at you, still feel you are noble. Learn that everyone finds the noble man an obstruction. The good, too, find the noble man an obstruction: and even when they call him a good man they do so in order to make away with him. The noble man wants to create new things and a new virtue. The good man wants the old things and that the old things shall be preserved. But that is not the danger for the noble man — that he may become a good man — but that he may become an impudent one, a derider, a destroyer. Alas, I have known noble men who lost their highest hope. And henceforth they slandered all high hopes. Henceforth they lived impudently in brief pleasures, and they had hardly an aim beyond the day. ‘Spirit is also sensual pleasure’ — thus they spoke. Then the wings of their spirit broke: now it creeps around and it makes dirty what it feeds on. Once they thought of becoming heroes: now they are sensualists. The hero is to them an affliction and a terror. But, by my love and hope I entreat you: do not reject the hero in your soul! Keep holy your highest hope! Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Friedrich Nietzsche
It was massive. A blurting, busting, backfire! A flabbergasting, fire-breathing, flub-explosion! A propelling, paint-stripping, prison-break!
Ferguson Fartworthy (How My Gas Made Me Famous)
I am often impressed with those that admit their ignorance, for it is the first step towards breaking out of the prison called freedom.
Lionel Suggs
What’s stopping you from moving forward? The need to be certain. Certainty is prison. Break free and you’ll be free.
Richie Norton
Par for the course when it comes to the Branch. They're always holding people prisoner, and people are always trying to break free.
Jennifer Rush
It is very difficult to break free from the prison of conformity and fixed false beliefs without changing our level of consciousness and awareness.
Debasish Mridha
The man who knows that he lives in a prison will find a way to break free of it. But the one who believes that he is free while being imprisoned will remained imprisoned forever.
Kapil Gupta (Atmamun: The Path To Achieving The Bliss Of The Himalayan Swamis. And The Freedom Of A Living God.)
What matters is your own psychological prison—and you can break those chains. What have you got to lose? What else do you have to do?
Laura Bates (Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard)
However, if we don’t confront the seed of lies, it gives place for them to take root in us and we become bound to the “prison cell” that those lies create.
E'yen A. Gardner (Break Free)
Writing turns everybody into wussies. Everybody quits.
Paul T. Scheuring (The Far Shore)
Anyone who hasn’t experienced the ecstasy of betrayal knows nothing about ecstasy at all. JEAN GENET, PRISONER OF LOVE
Patrick J. Carnes (The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships)
For it is exactly into that prison that Jesus comes and tells us he will break us out.
Henry Cloud (How People Grow: What the Bible Reveals About Personal Growth)
When you maintain bitterness and contempt towards someone, you’re actually binding yourself to them. You’ve given them a foothold in your life with an emotional connection that is stronger than any prison cell. It’s a jail sentence of solitary anger and animosity. Forgiveness is the ONLY thing that breaks that emotional bond. It’s the key that sets you free. ~Jason Versey
Jason Versey
Man is often the prisoner of the culture he lives in. Question your culture to break the prison doors! Question it so that you can be able to see the incredible stupidities in your culture!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Even knowing all of that, if I head to Kauf alone, I can make it in half the time that it would take the wagons. I don’t wish to leave Laia—I will feel the absence of her voice, her face, every day. I already know it. But if I can make it to the prison in a month, I’ll have enough time before Rathana to break Darin out. The Tellis extract will keep the seizures at bay until the wagons get close to the prison. I will see Laia again. I rise, coil my bedroll, and make for Afya’s wagon. When I knock on the back door, it takes her only a moment to answer, despite it being the dead of night. She
Sabaa Tahir (A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2))
A lie believed acts as truth until it is neutralized.” The false beliefs you hold about your life become the personal laws of your life, holding you prisoner until you break your agreement with them.
Derek Rydall (Emergence: The End of Self Improvement)
Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something moulded. These prison walls that this age of trade has built up round us, we can break down.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
However small we are, we should always fight for what we believe to be right. And I don't mean fight with the power of our fists or the power of our swords. That has always been the problem with us Vikings. I mean the power of our brains and our thoughts and our dreams. And as small and quiet and unimportant as our fighting may look, perhaps we might all work together like the numberless armies of Ziggerastica, and break out of the prisons of our own making. Perhaps we might be able to keep this fierce and beautiful world of ours as free for all of us as it seemed to be on that blue afternoon of my childhood.
Cressida Cowell (How to Speak Dragonese (How to Train Your Dragon, #3))
The grille of the Caddie plunged right into the middle of the bonfire, scattering smoke and flames and bones to the wind. The Cadillac finally bounced and jolted to a stop among a rain of burning human skulls. The voice of John Fogerty garbled and died. The driver's door opened and John flung himself out, clutching a sawed-off shotgun. He screamed, 'DID SOMEBODY ORDER SOME FUCKING PRISON BREAK WITH A SIDE OF SHOTGUN?
David Wong (This Book Is Full of Spiders (John Dies at the End, #2))
There is no great reward for being emotionally withdrawn, no pity prize for bottling your frustration. No one is coming to congratulate your chronic self-repression. By opening up, maybe you will inconvenience some people. Maybe you will trigger some conflict. Maybe you will be rejected, criticized, judged. Everything comes with a price and everything has its compensation. Authenticity may require pain, but it also opens the doors to joy, creativity, self-respect, empathy. Self-repression, on the other hand, costs you all the beauty of the world in exchange for a prison of comfort. Is it really worth it? Isn't it time to break free?
Vironika Tugaleva
Hrgh… I am daunted by no curse…a-and yet… Kazuma! What shall we do?! Look at the terrible eyes burning within that Dullahan’s helm! Those are the eyes of one who would take me to his castle as his sex prisoner and force me to do all kinds of freaky hard-core porno stuff if I want to break this curse!” “…Huh?” said the Dullahan, having clearly not expected to be called out as a pervert in front of the whole town. I felt a little bad for him.
Natsume Akatsuki (Oh! My Useless Goddess! (Konosuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! Light Novel, #1))
Had my parents allowed me, when I read a book, to pay a visit to the region it described, I should have felt that I was making an enormous advance towards the ultimate conquest of truth. For even if we have the sensation of being always enveloped in, surrounded by our own soul, still it does not seem a fixed and immovable prison; rather do we seem to be borne away with it, and perpetually struggling to transcend it, to break out into the world, with a perpetual discouragement as we hear endlessly all around us that unvarying sound which is not an echo from without, but the resonance of a vibration from within. We try to discover in things, which become precious to us on that account, the reflection of what our soul has projected on to them; we are disillusioned when we find that they are in reality devoid of the charm which they owed, in our minds, to the association of certain ideas; sometimes we mobilise all our spiritual forces in a glittering array in order to bring our influence to bear on other human beings who, we very well know, are situated outside ourselves where we can never reach them.
Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)
The unfortunate are not as miserable as the world imagines. That urchins, the handicapped, orphans, prisoners and others are much happier than people think. And that language is a trap, that a dark evolutionary force has created languages to limit human thought. That writers are overrated fools. That all religions come from ancient comic writers. And the ultimate goal of comics is same as the purpose of humanity – to break free from language.
Manu Joseph (Serious Men)
This one is bigger than the other by at least a quarter,” he said. “That’s perspective,” Will replied stubbornly. “The left one is closer, so it looks bigger.” “If it’s perspective, and it’s that much bigger, your handcart would have to be about five meters wide,” Horace told him. “Is that what you’re planning?” Again, Will studied the drawing critically. “No. I thought maybe two meters. And three meters long.” He quickly sketched in a smaller version of the left wheel, scrubbing over the first attempt as he did so. “Is that better?” “Could be rounder,” Horace said. “You’d never get a wheel that shape to roll. It’s sort of pointy at one end.” Will’s temper flared as he decided his friend was simply being obtuse for the sake of it. He slammed the charcoal down on the table. “Well, you try drawing a perfect circle freehand!” he said angrily. “See how well you do! This is a concept drawing, that’s all. It doesn’t have to be perfect!” Malcolm chose that moment to enter the room. He had been outside, checking on MacHaddish, making sure the general was still securely fastened to the massive log that held him prisoner. He glanced now at the sketch as he passed by the table. “What’s that?” he asked. “It’s a walking cart,” Horace told him. “You get under it, so the spears won’t hit you, and go for a walk.” Will glared at Horace and decided to ignore him. He turned his attention to Malcolm. “Do you think some of your people could build me something like this?” he asked. The healer frowned thoughtfully. “Might be tricky,” he said. “We’ve got a few cart wheels, but they’re all the same size. Did you want this one so much bigger than the other?” Now Will switched his glare to Malcolm. Horace put a hand up to his face to cover the grin that was breaking out there. “It’s perspective. Good artists draw using perspective,” Will said, enunciating very clearly. “Oh. Is it? Well, if you say so.” Malcolm studied the sketch for a few more seconds. “And did you want them this squashed-up shape? Our wheels tend to be sort of round. I don’t think these ones would roll too easily, if at all.” Truth be told, Malcolm had been listening outside the house for several minutes and knew what the two friends had been discussing. Horace gave vent to a huge, indelicate snort that set his nose running. His shoulders were shaking, and Malcolm couldn’t maintain his own straight face any longer. He joined in, and the two of them laughed uncontrollably. Will eyed them coldly. “Oh, yes. Extremely amusing,” he said.
John Flanagan (The Siege of Macindaw (Ranger's Apprentice, #6))
But I don't take any notice because I don't listen to what other people say and only sticks and stones can break my bones and I have a Swiss Army knife if they hit me and if I kill them it will be self-defense and I won't go to prison
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (SparkNotes Literature Guide))
Who Says Words With My Mouth? All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there. This drunkenness began in some other tavern. When I get back around to that place, I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile, I'm like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary. The day is coming when I fly off, but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice? Who says words with my mouth? Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking. If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison for drunks. I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way. Whoever brought me here will have to take me home. This poetry, I never know what I'm going to say. I don't plan it. When I'm outside the saying of it, I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.
Rumi
There have been extensive human rights violations by American psychiatrists over the last 70 years. These doctors were pad by the American taxpayer through CIA and military contracts. It is past time for these abuses to stop, it is past time for a reckoning, and it is past time for individual doctors to be held accountable. The Manchurian Candidate Programs are of much more than "historical" interest. ARTICHOKE, BLUEBIRD, MKULTRA and MKSEARCH are precursors of mind control programs that are operational in the twenty first century. Human rights violations by psychiatrists must be ongoing in programs like COPPER GREEN, the interrogation program at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Such programs must be carried out within CIA units like Task Force 121 (The Dallas Morning News, December 1, 2004, p. 1A). Information pointing to ongoing human rights violations by psychiatrists is available in publications like The New Yorker (see article by Seymour M. Hersh, May 24, 2004). Yes the indifference, silence, denial, and disinformation of organized medicine and psychiatry continue. One purpose of The CIA Doctors: Human Rights Violations By American Psychiatrists is to break that silence.
Colin A. Ross (The C.I.A. Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists)
A small story: A man was in prison for 20 years. On the day of his release, he appeared very worried and tense. His friend in the prison asked him, 'What has happened to you? Why are you so worried?' The man replied, 'I am afraid. What will I do when I go out?' The prison has created such a solid pattern of security for the man that he does not know what he will do when he goes outside! This is the danger of getting caught in patterns and security. A master will never offer you the security you are looking for. He will never offer you the patterns you are looking for. When you don't get the security you are looking for, you will grow with deep centering within yourself. You will grow fearlessly because you know there is nothing to lose. And when you know there is nothing to lose, you have no fear. To show you that there is nothing to lose, the master throws you upon utter insecurity. Out of his deep compassion for you, out of deep concern for your growth, he doesn't offer you security. When you don't find the mundane security, you will find God! All your fears are because you don't clearly know that there is nothing to lose. Just one encounter with near death can show you that there is nothing to lose and that all your fears are baseless. The master simply makes you understand this in his own way. So don't try to escape from the master. Understand that he is here only to show you what you actually are. Your inherent nature is fearlessness. Over years, you have been instilled with fear. The master tries to break the layers of conditioning that you have taken upon yourself. If you just allow him to work upon you, with trust and love, you will see yourself transform in front of your own eyes.
Paramahamsa Nithyananda (Guaranteed Solutions)
I can do nothing. The knowledge was a whisper of madness. The assassin feared but one thing that left him skeined with terror: helplessness. But not the helplessness of being a prisoner, or of undergoing torture – he’d been victim to both, and he well knew that torture could break anyone – anyone at all. But this . . . Kalam feared insignificance, he feared the inability to produce an effect, to force a change upon the world beyond his flesh. It was this knowledge that the scene before him was searing into his soul.
Steven Erikson (Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2))
The travelers emerged into a spacious square. In the middle of this square were several dozen people on a wooden bandstand like in a public park. They were the members of a band, each of them as different from one another as their instruments. Some of them looked round at the approaching column. Then a grey-haired man in a colorful cloak called out and they reached for their instruments. There was a burst of something like cheeky, timid bird-song and the air – air that had been torn apart by the barbed wire and the howl of sirens, that stank of oily fumes and garbage – was filled with music. It was like a warm summer cloud-burst ignited by the sun, flashing as it crashed down to earth. People in camps, people in prisons, people who have escaped from prison, people going to their death, know the extraordinary power of music. No one else can experience music in quite the same way. What music resurrects in the soul of a man about to die is neither hope nor thought, but simply the blind, heart-breaking miracle of life itself. A sob passed down the column. Everything seemed transformed, everything had come together; everything scattered and fragmented -home, peace, the journey, the rumble of wheels, thirst, terror, the city rising out of the mist, the wan red dawn – fused together, not into a memory or a picture but into the blind, fierce ache of life itself. Here, in the glow of the gas ovens, people knew that life was more than happiness – it was also grief. And freedom was both painful and difficult; it was life itself. Music had the power to express the last turmoil of a soul in whose blind depths every experience, every moment of joy and grief, had fused with this misty morning, this glow hanging over their heads. Or perhaps it wasn't like that at all. Perhaps music was just the key to a man's feelings, not what filled him at this terrible moment, but the key that unlocked his innermost core. In the same way, a child's song can appear to make an old man cry. But it isn't the song itself he cries over; the song is simply a key to something in his soul.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
There were eruptions against the convict labor system in the South, in which prisoners were leased in slave labor to corporations, used thus to depress the general level of wages and also to break strikes. In the year 1891, miners of the Tennessee Coal Mine Company were asked to sign an “iron-clad contract”: pledging no strikes, agreeing to get paid in scrip, and giving up the right to check the weight of the coal they mined (they were paid by the weight). They refused to sign and were evicted from their houses. Convicts were brought in to replace them.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting, or for viewing the country, the anguish of my soul at my condition would break out upon me on a sudden, and my very heart would die within me, to think of the woods, the mountains, the desarts I was in; and how I was a prisoner, locked up with the eternal bars and bolts of the ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness, without redemption. In the midst of the greatest composures of my mind, this would break out upon me like a storm, and make me wring my hands and weep like a child. Sometimes it would take me in the middle of my work, and I would immediately sit down and sigh, and look upon the ground for an hour or two together; and this was still worse to me; for if I could burst out into tears, or vent my self by words, it would go off, and the grief having exhausted it self would abate.
Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe (Robinson Crusoe #1))
Never before had he been able to get up whenever he wanted or eat whatever he fancied. He could even go wherever he liked, as long as it was in Diagon Alley, and as this long cobbled street was packed with the most fascinating wizarding shops in the world, Harry felt no desire to break his word to Fudge
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3))
[Solitary confinement] is terrible. That is terrible. You're in a grave. You can't do anything. Everything's brought to you and you're in a room all day, except to come out of the showers. So when I would come out, I would entertain myself by singing, doing little mock concerts. And then when I was in the room, I would develop a routine. Like I have a lot of hair under here, so I would take my hair down and take all day to braid it on purpose. Stretch the hours out. Then I might write. And I would clean the floor. And I would look out the window. And then I'd devote a whole day to just reading. I was Christian then, trying to be. So I would read the whole Bible. I would break it down into sections. You're in a grave and you're trying to live. That's how to best describe it: trying to live in a grave. You're trying to live 'cause you're not dead yet, but nobody hears you when you call out, 'Hey, I'm alive!
Megan Sweeney (The Story Within Us: Women Prisoners Reflect on Reading)
Exoneration of Jesus Christ If Christ was in fact God, he knew all the future. Before Him like a panorama moved the history yet to be. He knew how his words would be interpreted. He knew what crimes, what horrors, what infamies, would be committed in his name. He knew that the hungry flames of persecution would climb around the limbs of countless martyrs. He knew that thousands and thousands of brave men and women would languish in dungeons in darkness, filled with pain. He knew that his church would invent and use instruments of torture; that his followers would appeal to whip and fagot, to chain and rack. He saw the horizon of the future lurid with the flames of the auto da fe. He knew what creeds would spring like poisonous fungi from every text. He saw the ignorant sects waging war against each other. He saw thousands of men, under the orders of priests, building prisons for their fellow-men. He saw thousands of scaffolds dripping with the best and bravest blood. He saw his followers using the instruments of pain. He heard the groans—saw the faces white with agony. He heard the shrieks and sobs and cries of all the moaning, martyred multitudes. He knew that commentaries would be written on his words with swords, to be read by the light of fagots. He knew that the Inquisition would be born of the teachings attributed to him. He saw the interpolations and falsehoods that hypocrisy would write and tell. He saw all wars that would be waged, and-he knew that above these fields of death, these dungeons, these rackings, these burnings, these executions, for a thousand years would float the dripping banner of the cross. He knew that hypocrisy would be robed and crowned—that cruelty and credulity would rule the world; knew that liberty would perish from the earth; knew that popes and kings in his name would enslave the souls and bodies of men; knew that they would persecute and destroy the discoverers, thinkers and inventors; knew that his church would extinguish reason’s holy light and leave the world without a star. He saw his disciples extinguishing the eyes of men, flaying them alive, cutting out their tongues, searching for all the nerves of pain. He knew that in his name his followers would trade in human flesh; that cradles would be robbed and women’s breasts unbabed for gold. And yet he died with voiceless lips. Why did he fail to speak? Why did he not tell his disciples, and through them the world: “You shall not burn, imprison and torture in my name. You shall not persecute your fellow-men.” Why did he not plainly say: “I am the Son of God,” or, “I am God”? Why did he not explain the Trinity? Why did he not tell the mode of baptism that was pleasing to him? Why did he not write a creed? Why did he not break the chains of slaves? Why did he not say that the Old Testament was or was not the inspired word of God? Why did he not write the New Testament himself? Why did he leave his words to ignorance, hypocrisy and chance? Why did he not say something positive, definite and satisfactory about another world? Why did he not turn the tear-stained hope of heaven into the glad knowledge of another life? Why did he not tell us something of the rights of man, of the liberty of hand and brain? Why did he go dumbly to his death, leaving the world to misery and to doubt? I will tell you why. He was a man, and did not know.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Religion is a bell jar; you cannot find God in that jar, because it is your bell jar, you have created it! Break the glass prison and get fresh air, elevate your intelligence! Wake up and open your eyes; see the truth beyond your prison! If you can’t break the glass, don’t worry; science will do it for you!
Mehmet Murat ildan
The idea of “taking on” the baseline cultural narratives of late-modern secularism may sound intimidating. Those who promote the wisdom of this age, who disdain Christians as being “on the wrong side of history,” seem supremely confident. However, Christian preachers and teachers should not be abashed or threatened. Try to remember that you are at odds with a system of beliefs far more than you are at war with a group of people. Contemporary people are the victims of the late-modern mind far more than they are its perpetrators. Seen in this light the Christian gospel is more of a prison break than a battle. Paul cries out, “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20). In his day the cross and the atonement made no sense within any of the reigning worldviews. The philosophers treated Paul with disdain on Mars Hill in Acts 17, and hardly anyone believed his message. But answer the question. Where now is the wisdom of that world? It’s over, gone. No one believes those worldviews anymore. Such will always be the case. The philosophies of the world will come and go, rise and fall, but the wisdom we preach—the Word of God—will still be here.
Timothy J. Keller (Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Scepticism)
Sitting there, I wasn’t convinced I’d survive until that day let alone beyond it. I felt the struggle intensifying between my mom and me no matter what I did to try to stop it. I couldn’t imagine a future where she’d just let me walk away from her. As it was, I felt like she was breaking me down a little more each day.
J.M. Northup (A Prisoner Within)
But it was not merely her choice to be a witness of the dirty work on Tier 1A. It was her role. As a woman she was not expected to wrestle prisoners into stress positions or otherwise overpower them, but rather just by her presence, to amplify their sense of powerlessness. She was there as an instrument of humiliation...The MPs knew very little about their prisoners or the culture they came from, and they understood less. But at Fort Lee, before they deployed, they were given a session of “cultural awareness training,” from which they’d taken away the understanding—constantly reinforced by MI handlers—that Arab men were sexual prudes, with a particular hang-up about being seen naked in public, especially by women. What better way to break an Arab, then, than to strip him, tie him up, and have a "female bystander," as Graner describer Harman, laugh at him? American women were used on the MI block in the same way that Major David DiNenna spoke of dogs—as "force multipliers." Harman understood. She didn’t like being naked in public herself. To the prisoners, being photographed may have seemed an added dash of mortification, but to Harman, taking pictures was a way of deflecting her own humiliation in the transaction—by taking ownership of her position as spectator.
Philip Gourevitch (Standard Operating Procedure)
How could the prisoner break his chains? I pictured a world, a righteous world, with no sin, no bonds, no social obligations; a world throbbing with creativity, innovation, and thought, nothing else; a world of dedicated solitude, without father, mother, wife, or child; a world where a man could travel lightly, immersed in art alone.
Naguib Mahfouz (Respected Sir, Wedding Song, The Search)
If I could, I’d fuck you for hours, days, goddamned years, nonstop. I want part of me in you every breath you take. I can’t do that so I want it that any time your mind wanders, you think of me inside you however that can be. My cock taking you. My cum buried deep. My kid growing in your belly. What that means. What we got. What we made. What we built between us. The fact that I love you so fuckin’ much, I’d commit treason for you. I’d perpetrate crimes for you. I’d go to prison for you. I’d break my back to give you everything you wanted from cutting the damned tomatoes in your salad and pouring you a glass of wine to wrestling the world into my arms and laying it at your feet.” I
Kristen Ashley (Midnight Soul (Fantasyland, #5))
Slowly, fresh sunbeams poured into the emerald canyon, illuminating their narrow path between the rusted rails. Because of the din of the waking jungle, they did not hear the sound of several feet sliding down the tapered trunks of the giant lauan trees towering several hundred feet above their heads and silently scampering into the undergrowth.
John D. Lukacs (Escape From Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War)
Perhaps he could see inside her, see what she was becoming even before she realized it herself. Saw her for what she is. A murderer. But each time remorse begins to invade her, break her will to hold herself together, the rage returns, almost as strong as the moment she opened the door to the prisoners’ room. It overshadows the guilt. And the void grows.
Joe Hart (The Final Trade (The Dominion Trilogy, #2))
When he wrote back, he pretended to be his old self, he lied his way into sanity. For fear of his psychiatrist who was also their censor, they could never be sensual, or even emotional. His was considered a modern, enlightened prison, despite its Victorian chill. He had been diagnosed, with clinical precision, as morbidly oversexed, and in need of help as well as correction. He was not to be stimulated. Some letters—both his and hers—were confiscated for some timid expression of affection. So they wrote about literature, and used characters as codes. All those books, those happy or tragic couples they had never met to discuss! Tristan and Isolde the Duke Orsino and Olivia (and Malvolio too), Troilus and Criseyde, Once, in despair, he referred to Prometheus, chained to a rock, his liver devoured daily by a vulture. Sometimes she was patient Griselde. Mention of “a quiet corner in a library” was a code for sexual ecstasy. They charted the daily round too, in boring, loving detail. He described the prison routine in every aspect, but he never told her of its stupidity. That was plain enough. He never told her that he feared he might go under. That too was clear. She never wrote that she loved him, though she would have if she thought it would get through. But he knew it. She told him she had cut herself off from her family. She would never speak to her parents, brother or sister again. He followed closely all her steps along the way toward her nurse’s qualification. When she wrote, “I went to the library today to get the anatomy book I told you about. I found a quiet corner and pretended to read,” he knew she was feeding on the same memories that consumed him “They sat down, looked at each other, smiled and looked away. Robbie and Cecilia had been making love for years—by post. In their coded exchanges they had drawn close, but how artificial that closeness seemed now as they embarked on their small talk, their helpless catechism of polite query and response. As the distance opened up between them, they understood how far they had run ahead of themselves in their letters. This moment had been imagined and desired for too long, and could not measure up. He had been out of the world, and lacked the confidence to step back and reach for the larger thought. I love you, and you saved my life. He asked about her lodgings. She told him. “And do you get along all right with your landlady?” He could think of nothing better, and feared the silence that might come down, and the awkwardness that would be a prelude to her telling him that it had been nice to meet up again. Now she must be getting back to work. Everything they had, rested on a few minutes in a library years ago. Was it too frail? She could easily slip back into being a kind of sister. Was she disappointed? He had lost weight. He had shrunk in every sense. Prison made him despise himself, while she looked as adorable as he remembered her, especially in a nurse’s uniform. But she was miserably nervous too, incapable of stepping around the inanities. Instead, she was trying to be lighthearted about her landlady’s temper. After a few more such exchanges, she really was looking at the little watch that hung above her left breast, and telling him that her lunch break would soon be over.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
More laying hens are slaughtered in the United States than cattle or pigs. Commercial laying hens are not bred for their flesh, but when their economic utility is over the still-young birds are trucked to the slaughterhouse and turned into meat products. In the process they are treated even more brutally than meat-type chickens because of their low market value. Their bones are very fragile from lack of exercise and from calcium depletion for heavy egg production, causing fragments to stick to the flesh during processing. The starvation practice known as forced molting results in beaded ribs that break easily at the slaughterhouse. Removal of food for several days before the hens are loaded onto the truck weakens their bones even more. Currently, the U.S. egg industry and the American Veterinary Medical Association oppose humane slaughter legislation for laying hens on the basis that their low economic value does not justify the cost of 'humane slaughter' technology. The industry created the inhumane conditions that are invoked to rationalize further unaccountability and cruelty.
Karen Davis (Prisoned Chickens Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry)
Here they brought him more “duffers and dope,” with the addition of a bowl of soup. Many of the prisoners had their meals brought in from a restaurant, but Jurgis had no money for that. Some had books to read and cards to play, with candles to burn by night, but Jurgis was all alone in darkness and silence. He could not sleep again; there was the same maddening procession of thoughts that lashed him like whips upon his naked back. When night fell he was pacing up and down his cell like a wild beast that breaks its teeth upon the bars of its cage. Now and then in his frenzy he would fling himself against the walls of the place, beating his hands upon them. They cut him and bruised him—they were cold and merciless as the men who had built them.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
BOWLS OF FOOD Moon and evening star do their slow tambourine dance to praise this universe. The purpose of every gathering is discovered: to recognize beauty and love what’s beautiful. “Once it was like that, now it’s like this,” the saying goes around town, and serious consequences too. Men and women turn their faces to the wall in grief. They lose appetite. Then they start eating the fire of pleasure, as camels chew pungent grass for the sake of their souls. Winter blocks the road. Flowers are taken prisoner underground. Then green justice tenders a spear. Go outside to the orchard. These visitors came a long way, past all the houses of the zodiac, learning Something new at each stop. And they’re here for such a short time, sitting at these tables set on the prow of the wind. Bowls of food are brought out as answers, but still no one knows the answer. Food for the soul stays secret. Body food gets put out in the open like us. Those who work at a bakery don’t know the taste of bread like the hungry beggars do. Because the beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation: bury your seed and wait. After you die, All the thoughts you had will throng around like children. The heart is the secret inside the secret. Call the secret language, and never be sure what you conceal. It’s unsure people who get the blessing. Climbing cypress, opening rose, Nightingale song, fruit, these are inside the chill November wind. They are its secret. We climb and fall so often. Plants have an inner Being, and separate ways of talking and feeling. An ear of corn bends in thought. Tulip, so embarrassed. Pink rose deciding to open a competing store. A bunch of grapes sits with its feet stuck out. Narcissus gossiping about iris. Willow, what do you learn from running water? Humility. Red apple, what has the Friend taught you? To be sour. Peach tree, why so low? To let you reach. Look at the poplar, tall but without fruit or flower. Yes, if I had those, I’d be self-absorbed like you. I gave up self to watch the enlightened ones. Pomegranate questions quince, Why so pale? For the pearl you hid inside me. How did you discover my secret? Your laugh. The core of the seen and unseen universes smiles, but remember, smiles come best from those who weep. Lightning, then the rain-laughter. Dark earth receives that clear and grows a trunk. Melon and cucumber come dragging along on pilgrimage. You have to be to be blessed! Pumpkin begins climbing a rope! Where did he learn that? Grass, thorns, a hundred thousand ants and snakes, everything is looking for food. Don’t you hear the noise? Every herb cures some illness. Camels delight to eat thorns. We prefer the inside of a walnut, not the shell. The inside of an egg, the outside of a date. What about your inside and outside? The same way a branch draws water up many feet, God is pulling your soul along. Wind carries pollen from blossom to ground. Wings and Arabian stallions gallop toward the warmth of spring. They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know: so-and-so will travel to such-and-such. The hoopoe carries a letter to Solomon. The wise stork says lek-lek. Please translate. It’s time to go to the high plain, to leave the winter house. Be your own watchman as birds are. Let the remembering beads encircle you. I make promises to myself and break them. Words are coins: the vein of ore and the mine shaft, what they speak of. Now consider the sun. It’s neither oriental nor occidental. Only the soul knows what love is. This moment in time and space is an eggshell with an embryo crumpled inside, soaked in belief-yolk, under the wing of grace, until it breaks free of mind to become the song of an actual bird, and God.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight, the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant’s aid, greater and more terrible than ever before. Tonight … before midnight … the servant … will set out … to rejoin … his master …
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
sometimes the children from the school down the road see us in the street when we’re getting off the bus and they shout, “Special Needs! Special Needs!” But I don’t take any notice because I don’t listen to what other people say and only sticks and stones can break my bones and I have my Swiss Army knife if they hit me and if I kill them it will be self-defense and I won’t go to prison.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
For the first 3 weeks of that month, I was also under internal segregation. This simply meant that no other political prisoner was allowed near me. During meals, I was made to sit apart from the others, often with a guard between us. During my ration of sunshine, I had to sit in my corner, often with a watchful guard to ensure that there was no talking or other contact between me & any of the others. Because we were all on the same block it wasn't easy for the warders to enforce total segregation. The other political prisoners would break through the cordon by shouting across to me or by finding any & every excuse for going past where I was sitting & hurriedly throwing in one or two words of solidarity...This was always touching coming from people who were in no better conditions.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir)
I suggest that the real objective of Socialism is not happiness. Happiness hitherto has been a by-product, and for all we know it may always remain so. The real objective of Socialism is human brotherhood. This is widely felt to be the case, though it is not usually said, or not said loudly enough. Men use up their lives in heart-breaking political struggles, or get themselves killed in civil wars, or tortured in the secret prisons of the Gestapo, not in order to establish some central-heated, air-conditioned, strip-lighted Paradise, but because they want a world in which human beings love one another instead of swindling and murdering one another. And they want that world as a first step. Where they go from there is not so certain, and the attempt to foresee it in detail merely confuses the issue.
George Orwell (All Art Is Propaganda: Critical Essays)
For the first time the Doctor felt, now, that his suffering was strength and power. For the first time he felt that in that sharp fire, he had slowly forged the iron which could break the prison door of his daughter's husband, and deliver him. "It all tended to a good end, my friend; it was not mere waste and ruin. As my beloved child was helpful in restoring me to myself, I will be helpful now in restoring the dearest part of herself to her; by the aid of Heaven I will do it!" Thus, Doctor Manette. And when Jarvis Lorry saw the kindled eyes, the resolute face, the calm strong look and bearing of the man whose life always seemed to him to have been stopped, like a clock, for so many years, and then set going again with an energy which had lain dormant during the cessation of its usefulness, he believed.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
The saints are little pieces of mystical Christ, sick of love for union. The wife of youth, that wants her husband some years, and expects he shall return to her from oversea lands, is often on the shore; every ship coming near shore is her new joy; her heart loves the wind that shall bring him home. She asks at every passenger news: "Oh! saw ye my husband? What is he doing? When shall he come? Is he shipped for a return?" Every ship that carrieth not her husband, is the breaking of her heart. What desires hath the Spirit and Bride to hear, when the husband Christ shall say to the mighty angels, "Make you ready for the journey; let us go down and divide the skies, and bow the heaven: I will gather my prisoners of hope unto me; I can want my Rachel and her weeping children no longer. Behold, I come quickly to judge the nations." The bride, the Lamb's wife, blesseth the feet of the messengers that preach such tidings, "Rejoice, O Zion, put on thy beautiful garments; thy King is coming." Yea, she loveth that quarter of the sky, that being rent asunder and cloven, shall yield to her Husband, when he shall put through his glorious hand, and shall come riding on the rainbow and clouds to receive her to himself.
Samuel Rutherford (The Trial and Triumph of Faith)
This is just a form letter,” Jules pointed out. “And as for the test, maybe she went in for a checkup. Women are supposed to do that once a year, right? She’d been in Kenya, and suddenly here she was going to this health clinic with Molly, so she figured, what the heck. Maybe this place gives pregnancy tests as part of their regular annual exam.” “Yeah,” Max said. “Maybe.” He didn’t sound convinced. “Okay. Let’s run with the worst-case scenario. She is pregnant. I know it’s not like her to have a one-night stand, but . . .” Jules said, but then stopped. His words were meant to help, but, Hey, good news—the woman you love may have gotten knocked up from a night of casual sex with a stranger were not going to provide a whole hell of a lot of comfort. It didn’t matter that the idea was less awful than the terrible alternative—that Paul Jimmo had continued to pressure Gina. And he hadn’t taken no for an answer. Which was obviously what Max was thinking, considering the way he was working to grind down his few remaining back teeth. “So,” Jules said. “Looks like our little talk didn’t exactly succeed at putting you in a better place.” It was clear, when Max didn’t respond, that he was concentrating on not leaping through the window and flying—using his rage as a form of propulsion, across the street and blasting a body-shaped hole in the wall of that building where Gina and Molly were being held prisoner—please, heavenly father, let them be in there. And Jules knew that if it turned out that Paul Jimmo had so much as touched Gina without her consent, Max would find his grave, dig up his body, bring him back to life, and then kill the son of a bitch all over again.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
He could have had everything he wanted if he just reached out his hand and took it…but he could not. The warrior could never break the chains of fear in his mind.” She raised a withered hand and tapped the mummified skin of her forehead. “Do you see, Lord Ridmark? Chains of bronze and prisons of stone can be shattered. But a prison built within the mind itself can never be broken. Those who imprison themselves can never be freed.
Jonathan Moeller (Sevenfold Sword: Shadow (Sevenfold Sword #5))
Lest we forget, the birth of modern physics and cosmology was achieved by Galileo, Kepler, and Newton breaking free not from the close confining prison of faith (all three were believing Christians, of one sort or another) but from the enormous burden of the millennial authority of Aristotelian science. The scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was not a revival of Hellenistic science but its final defeat.
David Bentley Hart (Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies)
You see that God deems it right to take from me any claim to merit for what you call my devotion to you. I have promised to remain forever with you, and now I could not break my promise if I would. The treasure will be no more mine than yours, and neither of us will quit this prison. But my real treasure is not that, my dear friend, which awaits me beneath the somber rocks of Monte Cristo, it is your presence, our living together five or six hours a day, in spite of our jailers; it is the rays of intelligence you have elicited from my brain, the languages you have implanted in my memory, and which have taken root there with all of their philological ramifications. These different sciences that you have made so easy to me by the depth of the knowledge you possess of them, and the clearness of the principles to which you have reduced them – this is my treasure, my beloved friend, and with this you have made me rich and happy. Believe me, and take comfort, this is better for me than tons of gold and cases of diamonds, even were they not as problematical as the clouds we see in the morning floating over the sea, which we take for terra firma, and which evaporate and vanish as we draw near to them. To have you as long as possible near me, to hear your eloquent speech, -- which embellishes my mind, strengthens my soul, and makes my whole frame capable of great and terrible things, if I should ever be free, -- so fills my whole existence, that the despair to which I was just on the point of yielding when I knew you, has no longer any hold over me; this – this is my fortune – not chimerical, but actual. I owe you my real good, my present happiness; and all the sovereigns of the earth, even Caesar Borgia himself, could not deprive me of this.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
The Lady Vader has come. We would hear her words.' 'Then you will hear them in prison.' The dynast gestured, and two more of the official guard left their line, heading purposefully toward the steps. It was, Leia judged, the right moment. Glancing down at her belt, she reached out through the Force with all the power and control she could manage-- And her lightsaber leaped from her belt, breaking free from its quick-release and jumping up in front of her. Her eyes and mind found the switch, and with a snap-hiss the brilliant green-white blade flashed into existence, carving out a vertical line between her and the line of dynasts. There was a sound like a hissing gasp from the crowd. The two Noghri who had been moving toward the maitrakh froze in mid stride...and as the gasp vanished into utter silence, Leia knew that she'd finally gotten their complete attention. 'I am not merely the daughter of the Lord Vader,' she said, putting an edge of controlled anger into her voice. 'I am the Mal'ary'ush: heir to his authority and his power. I have come through many dangers to reveal the treachery that has been done to the Noghri people.' She withdrew as much of her concentration as she could risk from the floating lightsaber to look slowly down the line of dynasts. 'Will you hear me? Or will you instead choose death?
Timothy Zahn (Dark Force Rising (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, #2))
We were to write a short essay on one of the works we read in the course and relate it to our lives. I chose the "Allegory of the Cave" in Plato's Republic. I compared my childhood of growing up in a family of migrant workers with the prisoners who were in a dark cave chained to the floor and facing a blank wall. I wrote that, like the captives, my family and other migrant workers were shackled to the fields day after day, seven days a week, week after week, being paid very little and living in tents or old garages that had dirt floors, no indoor plumbing, no electricity. I described how the daily struggle to simply put food on our tables kept us from breaking the shackles, from turning our lives around. I explained that faith and hope for a better life kept us going. I identified with the prisoner who managed to escape and with his sense of obligation to return to the cave and help others break free.
Francisco Jiménez
We are our stories, stories that can be both prison and the crowbar to break open the door of that prison; we make stories to save ourselves or to trap ourselves or others, stories that lift us up or smash us against the stone wall of our own limits and fears. Liberation is always in part a storytelling process: breaking stories, breaking silences, making new stories. A free person tells her own story. A valued person lives in a society in which her story has a place. Rebecca Solnit
Elena Aguilar (Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators)
I’m so sorry.” I was babbling again. He just held me tighter. His low growls started in my ear. “I told the boys we shouldn’t be friends with girls,” he muttered. “I told them that they’re mean, and will do things like break our hearts and scare the shit of out us.” His deep words washed over the room. I heard a few chuckles. When he pulled back I examined his tense features. “When did you tell them that?” I asked. Jacob snorted. “Remember when we were five and you stole Max’s piece of cake. Right around then.
Jaymin Eve (Dragon Marked (Supernatural Prison, #1))
But you see, most of us are concerned with revolt within the prison; we want better food, a little more light, a larger window so that we can see a little more of the sky. We are concerned with whether the outcaste should enter the temple or not; we want to break down this particular caste, and in the very breaking down of one caste we create another, a “superior” caste; so we remain prisoners, and there is no freedom in prison. Freedom lies outside the walls, outside the pattern of society; but to be free of that pattern you have to understand the whole content of it, which is to understand your own mind. It is the mind that has created the present civilization, this tradition-bound culture or society and, without understanding your own mind, merely to revolt as a communist, a socialist, this or that, has very little meaning. That is why it is very important to have self-knowledge, to be aware of all your activities, your thoughts and feelings; and this is education, is it not? Because when you are fully aware of yourself your mind becomes very sensitive, very alert.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
Maybe... maybe the little accessories were right. Maybe he just didn't know how to ask nicely. No. Belle shook her head. She had read about this. The victims of kidnapping often wound up sympathizing with the perpetrator. It was a sickness, a very scientifically predictable one. This was the eighteenth century. The age of reason. And a man-beast had thrown her father into prison for simply trespassing. This wasn't just about a failure to be polite. This was about breaking the laws of France. Even if the little magical castle was hidden far from the worlds of Paris and Versailles. But...
Liz Braswell (As Old as Time)
An aurora swirled in the night skies above Bataan, radiating around the smoke-shrouded peaks of the Mariveles Mountains. Intermittent flashes from phosphorus bombs and incendiary shells bathed the jungle in blinding bursts of white light. The rumbling, subterranean tremors had scarcely subsided when American stockpiles of TNT and ammunition dumps were detonated, causing the peninsula to convulse. Thousands of rounds of projectiles, from artillery and mortar shells to rifle bullets, streaked across the sky in arcing rainbows. "Never did a 4th of July display equal it in noise, lights, colors or cost," observed one officer.
John D. Lukacs (Escape From Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War)
For a detained patriot, breaking through the doubled walls of gray silence, attempting even a symbolic link with the outside world, is an act of resistance And resistance--even at the level of merely asserting one's rights, of maintaining one's ideological beliefs in the face of a programmed onslaught--is in fact the only way political prisoners can maintain their sanity and humanity. Resistance is the only means of trying to prevent a breakdown. The difficulty lies in the fact that in this effort one must rely first and foremost on one's own resources (writing defiance on toilet paper for instance), and nobody can teach one how to do it.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir)
I argue against purism not because I want a devastated world, the Mordor of industrial capitalism emerging as from a closely aligned alternate universe through our floating islands of plastic gradually breaking down into microbeads consumed by the scant marine life left alive after generations of overfishing, bottom scraping, and coral reef–killing ocean acidification; our human-caused, place-devastating elevated sea levels; our earth-shaking, water poisoning fracking; our toxic lakes made of the externalities of rare-earth mineral production for so-called advanced electronics; our soul-and-life destroying prisons; our oil spills; our children playing with bits of dirty bombs; our white phosphorus; our generations of trauma held in the body; our cancers; and I could go on. I argue against purism because it is one bad but common approach to devastation in all its forms. It is a common approach for anyone who attempts to meet and control a complex situation that is fundamentally outside our control. It is a bad approach because it shuts down precisely the field of possibility that might allow us to take better collective action against the destruction of the world in all its strange, delightful, impure frolic. Purism is a de-collectivizing, de-mobilizing, paradoxical politics of despair. This world deserves better.
Alexis Shotwell (Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times)
Similarly, the dollar, human rights and the United States of America exist in the shared imagination of billions, and no single individual can threaten their existence. If I alone were to stop believing in the dollar, in human rights, or in the United States, it wouldn’t much matter. These imagined orders are inter-subjective, so in order to change them we must simultaneously change the consciousness of billions of people, which is not easy. A change of such magnitude can be accomplished only with the help of a complex organisation, such as a political party, an ideological movement, or a religious cult. However, in order to establish such complex organisations, it’s necessary to convince many strangers to cooperate with one another. And this will happen only if these strangers believe in some shared myths. It follows that in order to change an existing imagined order, we must first believe in an alternative imagined order. In order to dismantle Peugeot, for example, we need to imagine something more powerful, such as the French legal system. In order to dismantle the French legal system we need to imagine something even more powerful, such as the French state. And if we would like to dismantle that too, we will have to imagine something yet more powerful. There is no way out of the imagined order. When we break down our prison walls and run towards freedom, we are in fact running into the more spacious exercise yard of a bigger prison.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Ah. Well, it stands for Freedom From Morality. We don't think healthy amorality happens naturally." "But you're not amoral," I pointed out. I would trust you to keep your word any time. You don't steal. I've never known you to harm anyone except enemy soldiers in time of war." He laughed. "I didn't say 'immoral', I said amoral. You really didn't read your guidebook. A person who has a compulsive need to break moral commandments is as much a prisoner as the person who feels bound to obey them. And the human brain is hardwired to produce moral commandments. That is why we think you have to train young people to keep them from developing morality and blocking their pursuit of pleasure. I teach it because --" "It gives you an outlet for your sadistic urge to confuse children.
John Barnes (The Merchants of Souls (Giraut, #3))
In The Shawshank Redemption, there's a short scene between Andy and Red that reveals the difference in their points of view. After almost twenty years in Shawshank Prison, Red is cynical because, in his eyes, the concept of hope is simply a four-letter word. His spirit has been so crushed by the prison system that he angrily declares to Andy, 'Hope is a dangerous thing. Drives a man insane. It's got no place here. Better get used to the idea.' And it is Red's emotional journey that leads him to the understanding that 'hope is a good thing.' The film ends on a note of hope, with Red breaking his parole and riding the bus to meet Andy in Mexico: 'I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.
Syd Field (Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting)
And in the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs failure, not only our psychological state, but living conditions generally in the prison became much more severe. Even food was much scarcer. At that time, they would bring in vats full of greasy water with some vegetables floating in it — potatoes, pumpkins, yams — frequently dirty and rotten, at that. We found out from men working in the kitchen, who belonged to Circular 4, that one hundred pounds of foodstuffs per day were allocated for the six thousand prisoners on Isla de Pinos — that worked out to less than a pound for every fifty prisoners. And that was the extent of our food. The bread had not a drop of fat or lard in it, just salt, and not always that. Its texture was so rubbery that you could stretch it out to more than a third longer without breaking it.
Armando Valladares (Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro's Gulag)
I do not think, if one is a writer, that one escapes it by trying to become something else. One does not become something else: one becomes nothing. And what is crucial here is that the writer, however unwillingly, always, somewhere, knows this. There is no structure he can build strong enough to keep out this self-knowledge. What has happened, however, time and time again, is that the fantasy structure the writer builds in order to escape his central responsibility operates not as his fortress, but his prison, and he perishes within it. Or: the structure he has built becomes so stifling, so lonely, so false, and acquires such a violent and dangerous life of its own, that he can break out of it only by bringing the entire structure down. With a great crash, inevitably, and on his own head, and on the heads of those closest to him.
James Baldwin (Nobody Knows My Name)
While the Texas prison officials remained in the dark about what was going on, they were fortunate that William and Danny had benign motives. Imagine what havoc the two might have caused; it would have been child's play for these guys to develop a scheme for obtaining money or property from unsuspecting victims. The Internet had become their university and playground. Learning how to run scams against individuals or break in to corporate sites would have been a cinch; teenagers and preteens learn these methods every day from the hacker sites and elsewhere on the Web. And as prisoners, Danny and William had all the time in the world. Maybe there's a lesson here: Two convicted murderers, but that didn't mean they were scum, rotten to the core. They were cheaters who hacked their way onto the Internet illegally, but that didn't mean they were willing to victimize innocent people or naively insecure companies.
Kevin D. Mitnick (The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers)
I sometimes felt guilty about betraying Dumbledore’s trust, of course he had admitted me to Hogwarts when no other Headmaster would have done so, and he had no idea I was breaking the rules he had set down for my own and others’ safety. He never knew I had led three fellow students into becoming Animagi illegally. But I always managed to forget my guilty feelings every time we sat down to plan our next month’s adventure. And I haven’t changed." Lupin’s face had hardened, and there was self-disgust in his voice. "All this year, I have been battling with myself, wondering whether I should tell Dumbledore that Sirius was an Animagus. But I didn’t do it. Why? Because I was too cowardly. It would have meant admitting that I’d betrayed his trust while I was at school, admitting that I’d led others along with me and Dumbledore’s trust has meant everything to me. He let me into Hogwarts as a boy, and he gave me a job, when I have been shunned all my adult life, unable to find paid work because of what I am.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Eena worried to Ian in her thoughts. (You’re not going to let him walk away thinking what I think he’s thinking, are you?) (You won't change his mind. The evidence is a little suggestive. You should have just stayed behind me.) (Oh, this is all my fault?) (Well, you were the one swimming in your underwear.) (And you’re the one who took your shirt off!) (You think the alternative would have been better?) She shuttered at the thought of the Braetic stumbling across her in her underclothes. “Cale,” Eena said in another attempt to convince the stranger. Somehow she managed to sidestep Ian’s effort to halt her, and she approached the man. “I am not messing around with my protector. I am, and always have been, true and faithful to Derian. It’s just……a lot of weird things have happened lately.” The Braetic looked willing to consider a good excuse. “Such as?” “Well,” she started, casting a furtive glance at Ian. He was shaking his head, conveying strong disapproval. She ignored him. “Okay, well…..I’ve been fighting these immortals who are bent on using me to break free from an imprisoning gem where they were sentenced to stayed locked up for eternity. They nearly annihilated a world of Viiduns—that’s how awful they are! But one of these immortals has control over my necklace, and her brother keeps transporting me and my protector all over Moccobatra in search of pieces to a star-shaped platform they intend to use to free their bodies which have been trapped for over three-thousand years now. We were sent here at an inopportune—and highly embarrassing—moment to find the final piece to the platform. It’s been a nightmare just trying to stay alive!” “Wow,” Cale breathed, not looking half as concerned as Eena thought he ought to. “So these immortals are using you and trying to kill you at the same time?” She shook her head. “No, no, only the dragons are trying to kill me…or they were trying to kill me until Naga put a stop to them.” Eena heard Ian’s hand smack against his forehead. She saw humor sweep over the Braetic’s face. It made her angry. “Dragons too, huh?” Cale snickered. “It’s the truth!” she insisted. (Eena, just forget it. You’re only making it worse.) She ignored her protector’s advice again. “Cale, I’m telling you the honest-to-goodness truth. Do you know the story of Wanyaka Cave? The red-gemmed prison and the two spirit sisters?” Completely out of patience, Ian broke into the conversation, rudely speaking over his queen. “We’ll be on our way now, sir. We apologize for trespassing.” With a big grin on his face, the Braetic offered a friendly alternative. “Why don’t the pair of you accompany me home. I’m sure my wife can round up some suitable clothing for you. Those immortals must have a ripe sense of humor, leaving you alone in the woods without any decent attire.” He caught a chuckle in his throat. “That is unless it was the dragons who took the shirt off your back.” “Dragons are immortals!” Eena snapped, as if any fool ought to know it. Ian flashed her a harsh look. “We would greatly appreciate the help, sir.” “Oh, it’ll cost you something,” Cale informed them, “but we can discuss that on our way.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Two Sisters (The Harrowbethian Saga #4))
His rough, cold hand grasped her chin. Her heart jolted as she gazed into his moss-gray eyes. “You owe me a forfeit,” he said. The breeze plucked at strands of his hair, curling them against his windburned cheeks. She jerked her head away. “Just what is it you want?” “I’ll have a kiss from you.” The breath left her chest in a rush. Inhaling slowly, she drew in the cold salt air. “That’s your forfeit?” “I declare to my soul, this is getting interesting,” whispered Aileen Breslin. “It’s an outrage,” Rory snapped. Caitlin challenged her prisoner with a furious stare. “I’d rather kiss a natterjack.” “You’ll have to settle for me instead.” In truth the request was modest enough. Yet her nerves rattled like dried reeds in the breeze. “Why?” His laughter flowed like warm mead from a crystal goblet. “Do you really have to ask?” “I’m asking.” “Because I want to know if the MacBride tastes like a woman, or a warrior.” Her face heated. “That’s absurd.” “It’s my request and my prerogative to be as absurd as I please. You knew the stakes. Will you have it said that the MacBride breaks her word?
Susan Wiggs (The Maiden of Ireland)
Those who come close to people in need do so first of all in a generous desire to help them and bring them relief; they often feel like saviours and put themselves on a pedestal. But once in contact with them, once touching them, establishing a loving and trusting relationship with them, the mystery unveils itself. At the heart of the insecurity of people in distress there is a presence of Jesus. And so they may discover the sacrament of the poor and enter the mystery of compassion. People who are poor seem to break down the barriers of powerfulness, of wealth, of ability and of pride; they pierce the armour the human heart builds to protect itself; they reveal Jesus Christ. They reveal to those who have come to 'help' them their own poverty and vulnerability. These people also show their 'helpers' their capacity for love, the forces of love in their hearts. A poor person has a mysterious power: in his weakness he is able to open hardened hearts and reveal the sources of living water within them. It is the tiny hand of the fearless child which can slip through the bars of the prison of egoism. He is the one who can open the lock and set free. And God hides himself in the child.
Jean Vanier (Community And Growth)
Separated from everyone, in the fifteenth dungeon, was a small man with fiery brown eyes and wet towels wrapped around his head. For several days his legs had been black, and his gums were bleeding. Fifty-nine years old and exhausted beyond measure, he paced silently up and down, always the same five steps, back and forth. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . an interminable shuffle between the wall and door of his cell. He had no work, no books, nothing to write on. And so he walked. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . His dungeon was next door to La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion in Old San Juan, less than two hundred feet away. The governor had been his friend and had even voted for him for the Puerto Rican legislature in 1932. This didn’t help much now. The governor had ordered his arrest. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Life had turned him into a pendulum; it had all been mathematically worked out. This shuttle back and forth in his cell comprised his entire universe. He had no other choice. His transformation into a living corpse suited his captors perfectly. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Fourteen hours of walking: to master this art of endless movement, he’d learned to keep his head down, hands behind his back, stepping neither too fast nor too slow, every stride the same length. He’d also learned to chew tobacco and smear the nicotined saliva on his face and neck to keep the mosquitoes away. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . The heat was so stifling, he needed to take off his clothes, but he couldn’t. He wrapped even more towels around his head and looked up as the guard’s shadow hit the wall. He felt like an animal in a pit, watched by the hunter who had just ensnared him. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Far away, he could hear the ocean breaking on the rocks of San Juan’s harbor and the screams of demented inmates as they cried and howled in the quarantine gallery. A tropical rain splashed the iron roof nearly every day. The dungeons dripped with a stifling humidity that saturated everything, and mosquitoes invaded during every rainfall. Green mold crept along the cracks of his cell, and scarab beetles marched single file, along the mold lines, and into his bathroom bucket. The murderer started screaming. The lunatic in dungeon seven had flung his own feces over the ceiling rail. It landed in dungeon five and frightened the Puerto Rico Upland gecko. The murderer, of course, was threatening to kill the lunatic. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . The man started walking again. It was his only world. The grass had grown thick over the grave of his youth. He was no longer a human being, no longer a man. Prison had entered him, and he had become the prison. He fought this feeling every day. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . He was a lawyer, journalist, chemical engineer, and president of the Nationalist Party. He was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and spoke six languages. He had served as a first lieutenant in World War I and led a company of two hundred men. He had served as president of the Cosmopolitan Club at Harvard and helped Éamon de Valera draft the constitution of the Free State of Ireland.5 One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . He would spend twenty-five years in prison—many of them in this dungeon, in the belly of La Princesa. He walked back and forth for decades, with wet towels wrapped around his head. The guards all laughed, declared him insane, and called him El Rey de las Toallas. The King of the Towels. His name was Pedro Albizu Campos.
Nelson A. Denis (War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony)
Of course I’m ready. But are you ready for your part of our agreement?” “Kereseth? Yeah,” she said. “You get us in, we’ll get him out.” “I want it done simultaneously--I don’t want to risk him getting hurt because of what I’m doing,” I said. “He’s hushflower-resistant, so it will require quite a bit to knock him out. And he’s a skilled fighter, so don’t underestimate him.” Teka nodded, slowly. And stared, chewing the inside of her cheek. “What happened? You look all…frantic, or something,” she said. “You guys have a fight?” I didn’t answer. “I don’t get it,” she said. “You’re obviously in love with him, why do you want him gone?” I considered not answering that, either. The feeling of his rough chin scratching my cheek, and his mouth, warm against my skin, haunted me still. He had kissed me. Without prompting, without cunning. I should have been happy, hopeful. But it wasn’t that easy, was it? I had dozens of reasons to give her. Akos was in danger, now that Ryzek had realized he could use him as leverage over me. Eijeh was lost, and maybe Akos would be able to accept that once he was home, with his mother and sister. Akos and I would never be equals, as long as he was Ryzek’s prisoner here, so I had to make sure he was freed. But the one closest to my heart was the reason that came tumbling out. “Being here, it’s…breaking him,” I said. I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, uncomfortable. “I can’t watch anymore. I won’t.” “Yeah.” Her voice was soft. “Win or lose--you get us in, we’ll get him out. Okay?” “Okay,” I said. “Thank you.
Veronica Roth (Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1))
Even if his talk carried him to Paris, for example, to a place like the Faubourg Montmartre, he spiced and flavored it with his Attic ingredients, with thyme, sage, tufa, asphodel, honey, red clay, blue roofs; acanthus trimmings, violet light, hot rocks, dry winds, dust, rezina, arthritis and the electrical crackle that plays over the low hills like a swift serpent with a broken spine. He was a strange contradiction, even in his talk. With his snake-like tongue which struck like lightning, with fingers moving nervously, as though wandering over an imaginary spinet, with pounding, brutal gestures which somehow never smashed anything but simply raised a din, with all the boom of surf and the roar and sizzle and razzle-dazzle, if you suddenly observed him closely you got the impression that he was sitting there immobile, that only the round falcon's eye was alert, that he was a bird which had been hypnotized, or had hypnotized itself, and that his claws were fastened to the wrist of an invisible giant, a giant like the earth. All this flurry and din, all these kaleidoscopic prestidigitations of his, was only a sort of wizardry which he employed to conceal the fact that he was a prisoner—that was the impression he gave me when I studied him, when I could break the spell for a moment and observe him attentively. But to break the spell, required a power and a magic almost equal to his own; it made one feel foolish and impotent, as one always does when one succeeds in destroying the power of illusion. Magic is never destroyed —the most we can do is to cut ourselves off, amputate the mysterious antennae which serve to connect us with forces beyond our power of understanding.
Henry Miller (The Colossus of Maroussi)
Do you remember that I said I have something to show you?" Back when they were entering the house. Before she'd seen Hugh. Before their argument. "Yes?" He pushed open the door to her bedroom. "Look." She went inside and saw Valente sitting on the floor in front of her fireplace with a basket. He had a silly grin on his face. She glanced over her shoulder to Raphael. "What-?" Her husband tilted his chin toward Valente and the basket. "Go and see." At the same time she heard an animal whimper. Her lips parted and she picked up her skirts to hurry to the basket. It was lined with a soft blanket and inside was the sweetest little blond puppy, looking very sorry for itself. Iris stared, torn. Did Raphael think a 'puppy' would be an adequate substitution for him? The moment the puppy saw her it began whimpering and yipping, trying to climb from its wicker prison, but its legs were too short to make the attempt and it ended by falling backward, revealing that it was female. It was hardly the puppy's fault that she was angry with Raphael. "Oh," Iris breathed, sinking to her knees on the carpet opposite Valente. "She's perfect." Somehow the words made tears start in her eyes again. She picked up the puppy, which wriggled in Iris's hands until she held the small animal against her chest. The puppy promptly began licking Iris's chin with a tiny pink tongue. Iris looked up at Raphael through her tears. "What is her name?" He shook his head. "She has none that I know of. You must give her one." Iris stood, cradling the still-squirming puppy carefully, and went to her husband. "Thank you." She stood on tiptoe and kissed him on the lips, trying to convey all she'd said before. All he'd pushed aside. 'Stay. Stay. Stay.' Raphael took her arms gently and kissed her, angling his face over hers. He embraced her as if she were a lifeline. As if he wished to remain with her forever. The puppy yelped and he took a step back, breaking the kiss. Drawing away from her without effort. He walked out of the bedroom. Iris closed her eyes to keep her sorrow and tears in. She kissed the top of the puppy's silky head and whispered in her ear, "Tansy.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane, #12))
So what’s the plan?” “I believe that our best plan is to flush them out. If we can capture them both, there will be little reason for the others to fight.” “But if they’re in the midst of the army--” Bran started. “Bait,” I said, seeing the plan at once. “There has to be bait to bring them to the front.” Thinking rapidly, I added, “And I know who’s to be the bait. Us, right? Only, how to get them to meet us?” “The letter,” Branaric said. “They know now that we have it.” Both looked at me, but I said nothing. “Even if we don’t have it,” the Marquis said easily, “it’s enough to say we do to get them to meet us. If they break the truce or try anything untoward, a chosen group will grab them, and my warriors will disperse in all directions and reassemble at a certain place on my border a week later, at which time we will reassess. I can give you all the details of the plan if you wish them.” Bran snorted a laugh. “I’m in. As if we had a choice!” “Do we have a choice?” I asked, instantly hostile. “I am endeavoring to give you the semblance of one,” Shevraeth replied in his most polite voice. “And if we don’t agree?” I demanded. “Then you will remain here in safety until events are resolved.” “So we are prisoners, then.” Bran was chuckling and wiping his eyes. “Life, sister, how you remind me of that old spaniel of Khesot’s, Skater, when he thought someone was going to pinch his favorite chew-stick. Remember him?” “Bran--” I began, now thoroughly exasperated. “Well, it isn’t the goals, Mel, for we’ve the same ones, in essentials. It’s you being stubborn, just like old Skater. Admit it!” “I admit only that I don’t trust him as far as I can throw a horse,” I fumed. “We’re still prisoners, and you just sit there and laugh! Well, go ahead. I think I’ll go back to sleep. The company is better.” And I stalked to the door, went out, and slammed it. Of course I could still hear Bran wheezing with laughter. The ancient doors were not of tapestry but of wood, extremely flimsy and ill-fitted wood, serving no real purpose beyond blocking the room from sight. Tapestry manners required I move away at once, but I hesitated until I heard Bran say, “She won’t rat out on us. Let me talk to her, and she’ll see reason.” “I’d give her some time before you attempt it,” came the wry answer.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
The genius of the current caste system, and what most distinguishes it from its predecessors, is that it appears voluntary. People choose to commit crimes, and that’s why they are locked up or locked out, we are told. This feature makes the politics of responsibility particularly tempting, as it appears the system can be avoided with good behavior. But herein lies the trap. All people make mistakes. All of us are sinners. All of us are criminals. All of us violate the law at some point in our lives. In fact, if the worst thing you have ever done is speed ten miles over the speed limit on the freeway, you have put yourself and others at more risk of harm than someone smoking marijuana in the privacy of his or her living room. Yet there are people in the United States serving life sentences for first-time drug offenses, something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world. The notion that a vast gulf exists between “criminals” and those of us who have never served time in prison is a fiction created by the racial ideology that birthed mass incarceration, namely that there is something fundamentally wrong and morally inferior about “them.” The reality, though, is that all of us have done wrong. As noted earlier, studies suggest that most Americans violate drug laws in their lifetime. Indeed, most of us break the law not once but repeatedly throughout our lives. Yet only some of us will be arrested, charged, convicted of a crime, branded a criminal or felon, and ushered into a permanent undercaste. Who becomes a social pariah and excommunicated from civil society and who trots off to college bears scant relationship to the morality of crimes committed. Who is more blameworthy: the young black kid who hustles on the street corner, selling weed to help his momma pay the rent? Or the college kid who deals drugs out of his dorm room so that he’ll have cash to finance his spring break? Who should we fear? The kid in the ’hood who joined a gang and now carries a gun for security, because his neighborhood is frightening and unsafe? Or the suburban high school student who has a drinking problem but keeps getting behind the wheel? Our racially biased system of mass incarceration exploits the fact that all people break the law and make mistakes at various points in their lives and with varying degrees of justification. Screwing up—failing to live by one’s highest ideals and values—is part of what makes us human.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
The single book that has influenced me most is probably the last book in the world that anybody is gonna want to read: Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. This book is dense, difficult, long, full of blood and guts. It wasn’t written, as Thucydides himself attests at the start, to be easy or fun. But it is loaded with hardcore, timeless truths and the story it tells ought to be required reading for every citizen in a democracy. Thucydides was an Athenian general who was beaten and disgraced in a battle early in the 27-year conflagration that came to be called the Peloponnesian War. He decided to drop out of the fighting and dedicate himself to recording, in all the detail he could manage, this conflict, which, he felt certain, would turn out to be the greatest and most significant war ever fought up to that time. He did just that. Have you heard of Pericles’ Funeral Oration? Thucydides was there for it. He transcribed it. He was there for the debates in the Athenian assembly over the treatment of the island of Melos, the famous Melian Dialogue. If he wasn’t there for the defeat of the Athenian fleet at Syracuse or the betrayal of Athens by Alcibiades, he knew people who were there and he went to extremes to record what they told him.Thucydides, like all the Greeks of his era, was unencumbered by Christian theology, or Marxist dogma, or Freudian psychology, or any of the other “isms” that attempt to convince us that man is basically good, or perhaps perfectible. He saw things as they were, in my opinion. It’s a dark vision but tremendously bracing and empowering because it’s true. On the island of Corcyra, a great naval power in its day, one faction of citizens trapped their neighbors and fellow Corcyreans in a temple. They slaughtered the prisoners’ children outside before their eyes and when the captives gave themselves up based on pledges of clemency and oaths sworn before the gods, the captors massacred them as well. This was not a war of nation versus nation, this was brother against brother in the most civilized cities on earth. To read Thucydides is to see our own world in microcosm. It’s the study of how democracies destroy themselves by breaking down into warring factions, the Few versus the Many. Hoi polloi in Greek means “the many.” Oligoi means “the few.” I can’t recommend Thucydides for fun, but if you want to expose yourself to a towering intellect writing on the deepest stuff imaginable, give it a try.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
Priests, because they hear confessions and forgive sins and give counsel, are often called doctors of souls. You might call us the specialist surgeons of souls. We find the hidden problems, that people won’t speak about and couldn’t even if they would. We delve into the worst that human beings do—into the things that even they can’t explain—in order to find the person buried underneath the sin. Then we do our best to bring them back up with us. We see some of the harshest ugliness there is. Do you know why a person would cheat on their loving spouse with the full knowledge that it will wreck their children’s lives when the family falls apart? Do you know why a man would turn his own children against their mother so that they refuse to talk to her? Do you know why a woman would torture her children without leaving a mark, and scare them into not telling anyone? Do you know why people fake crimes and get their spouse arrested and sent to prison?” He stared at her expecting an answer, with an intensity that was almost frightening. She tried to voice an answer or two, but in the face of that earnest inquiry, they died unspoken. Easy answers and joking evasions wouldn’t do. She shook her head in the negative. “I do,” he said. “I’ve seen every one of those at least twice. And do you know what it’s taught me?” “What?” she asked, faintly. Sonia felt like she was talking with a monster. She was almost afraid of what lessons it had learned from the worst that human beings had to offer. “That the love of God is greater than all human evil. That where sin abounds, grace abounds more. I’ve seen some of the worst there is, and it doesn’t prove that life is meaningless. It proves that life is worth living. And it proves that we need God. I’m probably the most cynical person you’ve ever met, or ever will meet. But that doesn’t mean that I think life is bad. It means I know how much evil can exist in a good world. That’s what the faith gives me: I can stare evil in the face without blinking, because I know that it’s not the whole story.” He took a deep breath, then continued, a little more relaxed. “I’m sure that’s scary, if you’re used to blinking. I don’t know what to tell you, except that closing your eyes is not the way to be happy. If there’s something that you’re not supposed to look at, then look at it. If there’s something you’re not supposed to think about, then think about it. If something is too horrible to face, face it. Because the truth will set you free.” “You scare me,” she said, but it was an observation, neither a criticism nor a request to stop. He shrugged his shoulders. “Comfort is overrated,” he said. They stood there in silence for a few moments.
Christopher Lansdown (The Dean Died Over Winter Break (The Chronicles of Brother Thomas, #1))
you'll wonder again, later, why so many psychologists remain so vocal about having more and better training than anyone else in the field when every psychologist you've ever met but one will also have lacked these identification skills entirely when it seems nearly every psychologist you meet has no real ability to detect deception. You will wonder, later, why the assessment training appears to have been reserved for the CIA and the FBI is it because we as a society don't want to imagine that any other professionals will need the skills? And what about attorneys? What about training programs for guardian ad litems or anyone involved in approving care for all the already traumatized and marginalized children? You'll have met enough of those children after they grow up to know that when a small girl experiences repeated rapes in a series of households throughout her childhood, then that little girl is pretty likely to have some sort of "dysfunction" when she grows up. And you won't have any tolerance for the people who point their fingers at her and demand that she be as capable as they are it is, after all, a free country. We all get the same opportunities. You'll want to scream at all those equality people that you can't ignore the rights of this nation's children you can't ignore them and then get pissed when any raped and beaten little girls and boys grow up to be traumatized and perhaps hurtful or addicted adults. No more pointing fingers only a few random traumatized people stand up later as some miraculous example of perfectly acceptable societal success and if every judgmental person imagines that I would be like that I would be the one to break through the barriers then all those judgmental people need to go back in time and prove it, prove to everyone that life is a choice and we all get equal chances. You'll want anyone who talks about equal chances to go back and be born addicted to drugs in complete poverty and then to be dropped into a foster system that's designed for good but exploited by people who lack a conscience by people who rape and molest and whip and beat tiny little six year olds and then you will want all those people to come out of all that still talking about equal chances and their personal tremendous success. Thank you, dear God, for writing my name on the palm of your hand. You will be angry and yet you still won't understand the concept of evil. You'll learn enough to know that it's not politically correct to call anyone evil, especially when many terrible acts might actually stem from a physiological deficit I would never use the word evil, it's not professional but you will certainly come to understand that many of the very worst crimes are committed by people who lack the capacity to feel remorse for what they've done on any level. But when you gain that understanding, you still will not have learned that these individuals are more likable than most people that they aren't cool and distant that they aren't just a select few creepy murderers or high-profile con artists you won't know how to look for a lack of conscience in noncriminal and quite normal looking populations no clinical professors will have warned you about people who exude charm and talk excessively about protecting the family or protecting the community or protecting our way of life and you won't know that these types would ever stick around to raise kids you will have falsely believed that if they can't form real attachments, they won't bother with raising children and besides most of them will end up in prison you will not know that your assumptions are completely erroneous you won't understand that many who lack a conscience keep their kids close and tight for their own purposes.
H.G. Beverly (The Other Side of Charm: Your Memoir)