We Need to Talk About Kevin Quotes

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We Need to Talk About Kevin We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
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We Need to Talk About Kevin Quotes (showing 1-30 of 242)
“...You can only subject people to anguish who have a conscience. You can only punish people who have hopes to frustrate or attachments to sever; who worry what you think of them. You can really only punish people who are already a little bit good.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“I thought at the time that I couldn't be horrified anymore, or wounded. I suppose that's a common conceit, that you've already been so damaged that damage itself, in its totality, makes you safe.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Children live in the same world we do. To kid ourselves that we can shelter them from it isn't just naive it's a vanity.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“It's far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“You can call it innocence, or you can call it gullibility, but Celia made the most common mistake of the good-hearted: she assumed that everyone else was just like her.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“In a country that doesn't discriminate between fame and infamy, the latter presents itself as plainly more achievable.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Expectations are dangerous when they are both too high and unformed.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“The discovery that heartbreak is indeed heartbreaking consoles us about our humanity.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“I didn't care about anything. And there's a freedom in apathy, a wild, dizzying liberation on which you can almost get drunk. You can do anything. Ask Kevin.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“I realize it's commonplace for parents to say to their child sternly, 'I love you, but I don't always like you.' But what kind of love is that? It seems to me that comes down to, 'I'm not oblivious to you - that is, you can still hurt my feelings - but I can't stand having you around.' Who wants to be loved like that? Given a choice, I might skip the deep blood tie and settle for being liked. I wonder if wouldn't have been more moved if my own mother had taken me in her arms and said, 'I like you.' I wonder if just enjoying your kid's company isn't more important.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Yet if there's no reason to live without a child, how could there be with one? To answer one life with a successive life is simply to transfer the onus of purpose to the next generation; the displacements amounts to a cowardly and potentially infinite delay. Your children's answer, presumably, will be to procreate as well, and in doing so to distract themselves, to foist their own aimlessness onto their offspring.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Funny how you dig yourself into a hole by the teaspoon.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
tags: hole
“Okay, it's like this. You wake up, you watch TV, and you get in the car and you listen to the radio. You go to your little job or your little school, but you're not going to hear about that on the 6:00 news, since guess what. Nothing is really happening. You read the paper, or if you're into that sort of thing you read a book, which is just the same as watching only even more boring. You watch TV all night, or maybe you go out so you can watch a movie, and maybe you'll get a phone call so you can tell your friends what you've been watching. And you know, it's got so bad that I've started to notice, the people on TV? Inside the TV? Half the time they're watching TV. Or if you've got some romance in a movie? What to they do but go to a movie? All those people, Marlin," he invited the interviewer in with a nod. "What are they watching?"

After an awkward silence, Marlin filled in, "You tell us, Kevin."

"People like me.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“I was mortified by the prospect of becoming hopelessly trapped in someone else's story.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Teachers were both blamed for everything that went wrong with kids and turned to for their every salvation. This dual role of scapegoat and savior was downright messianic but even Jesus was probably paid better.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“How lucky we are, when we're spared what we think we want!”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Holocausts do not amaze me. Rapes and child slavery do not amaze me. And Franklin, I know you feel otherwise, but Kevin does not amaze me. I am amazed when I drop a glove in the street and a teenager runs two blocks to return it. I am amazed when a checkout girl flashes me a wide smile with my change, though my own face had been a mask of expedience. Lost wallets posted to their owners, strangers who furnish meticulous directions, neighbors who water each other's houseplants - these things amaze me.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“People seem to get used to anything, and it is a short step from adaptation to attachment.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“But indifference would ultimately commend itself as a devastating weapon.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“It's always the mother's fault, ain't it?" she said softly, collecting her coat. "That boy turn out bad cause his mama a drunk, or she a junkie. She let him run wild, she don't teach him right from wrong. She never home when he back from school. Nobody ever say his daddy a drunk, or his daddy not home after school. And nobody ever say they some kids just damned mean. ...”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Kevin was a shell game in which all three cups were empty.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Only a country that feels invulnerable can afford political turmoil as entertainment.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“It's an apathy so absolute that it's like a hole you might fall in.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Built like an oak tree, against which I could pitch my pillow and read; mornings, I could curl into the crook of your branches.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Funny how the nature of a normal day is the first memory to fade.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“That boy hardly needed a mask when his naked face was already impenetrable.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
tags: mask
“We'd been assured it wouldn't be painful, though she might experience 'discomfort,' a term beloved of the medical profession that seems to be a synonym for agony that isn't yours.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“Had I catalogued the downsides of parenthood, "son might turn out to be a killer" would never have turned up on the list. Rather, it might have looked something like this:

1. Hassle.
2. Less time just the two of us. (Try no time just the two of us.)
3. Other people. (PTA meetings. Ballet teachers. The kid's insufferable friends and their insufferable parents.)
4. Turing into a cow. (I was slight, and preferred to stay that way. My sister-in-law had developed bulging varicose veins in her legs during pregnancy that never retreated, and the prospect of calves branched in blue tree roots mortified me more than I could say. So I didn't say. I am vain, or once was, and one of my vanities was to feign that I was not.)
5. Unnatural altruism: being forced to make decisions in accordance with what was best for someone else. (I'm a pig.)
6. Curtailment of my traveling. (Note curtailment. Not conclusion.)
7. Dementing boredom. (I found small children brutally dull. I did, even at the outset, admit this to myself.)
8. Worthless social life. (I had never had a decent conversation with a friend's five-year-old in the room.)
9. Social demotion. (I was a respected entrepreneur. Once I had a toddler in tow, every man I knew--every woman, too, which is depressing--would take me less seriously.)
10. Paying the piper. (Parenthood repays a debt. But who wants to pay a debt she can escape? Apparently, the childless get away with something sneaky. Besides, what good is repaying a debt to the wrong party? Only the most warped mother would feel rewarded for her trouble by the fact that at last her daughter's life is hideous, too.)”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
“I was suffering from the delusion that it's the thought that counts.”
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

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