Alienation Quotes

Quotes tagged as "alienation" Showing 1-30 of 285
Stephen Chbosky
“I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. If they like their jobs. Or us. And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report due on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why.”
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Criss Jami
“When you're socially awkward, you're isolated more than usual, and when you're isolated more than usual, your creativity is less compromised by what has already been said and done. All your hope in life starts to depend on your craft, so you try to perfect it. One reason I stay isolated more than the average person is to keep my creativity as fierce as possible. Being the odd one out may have its temporary disadvantages, but more importantly, it has its permanent advantages.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Lois Lowry
“I feel sorry for anyone who is in a place where he feels strange and stupid.”
Lois Lowry, The Giver

Jonathan Franzen
“Depression presents itself as a realism regarding the rottenness of the world in general and the rottenness of your life in particular. But the realism is merely a mask for depression's actual essence, which is an overwhelming estrangement from humanity. The more persuaded you are of your unique access to the rottenness, the more afraid you become of engaging with the world; and the less you engage with the world, the more perfidiously happy-faced the rest of humanity seems for continuing to engage with it.”
Jonathan Franzen, How to Be Alone

Albert Camus
“Mostly, I could tell, I made him feel uncomfortable. He didn't understand me, and he was sort of holding it against me. I felt the urge to reassure him that I was like everybody else, just like everybody else. But really there wasn't much point, and I gave up the idea out of laziness.”
Albert Camus, L'Étranger

Michael  Jackson
“We have to heal our wounded world. The chaos, despair, and senseless destruction we see today are a result of the alienation that people feel from each other and their environment.”
Michael Jackson

F. Scott Fitzgerald
“He was so terrible that he was no longer terrible, only dehumanized.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night

David Mitchell
“Trees're always a relief, after people.”
David Mitchell, Black Swan Green

Roger Waters
“Wish You Were Here

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skys from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heros for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.”
Roger Waters

David Foster Wallace
“If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA's state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts [...] That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. Then that most nonaddicted adult civilians have already absorbed and accepted this fact, often rather early on [...] That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused [...] That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That gambling can be an abusable escape, too, and work, shopping, and shoplifting, and sex, and abstention, and masturbation, and food, and exercise, and meditation/prayer [...] That loneliness is not a function of solitude [...] That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt [...] That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness [...] That the effects of too many cups of coffee are in no way pleasant or intoxicating [...] That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it's almost its own form of intoxicating buzz.
That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused [...]
That it is permissible to want [...]
That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Joss Whedon
“Wherever I was, I was happy. At peace. I knew that everyone I cared about was all right. I knew it. Time didn't mean anything, nothing had form but I was still me, you know? And I was warm and I was loved and I was finished. Complete. I don't understand about theology or dimensions, or any of it, really but I think I was in heaven. And now I'm not. I was torn out of there. Pulled out by my friends. Everything here is hard, and bright, and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch this is hell. Just getting through the next moment, and the one after that knowing what I've lost...”
Joss Whedon

Charles Bukowski
“I see men assassinated around me every day. I walk through rooms of the dead, streets of the dead, cities of the dead; men without eyes, men without voices; men with manufactured feelings and standard reactions; men with newspaper brains, television souls and high school ideas. Kennedy himself was 9/10ths the way around the clock or he wouldn't have accepted such an enervating and enfeebling job -- meaning President of the United States of America. How can I be concerned with the murder of one man when almost all men, plus females, are taken from cribs as babies and almost immediately thrown into the masher?”
Charles Bukowski, Charles Bukowski: Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews and Encounters 1963-1993

Loren Eiseley
“Perhaps a creature of so much ingenuity and deep memory is almost bound to grow alienated from his world, his fellows, and the objects around him. He suffers from a nostalgia for which there is no remedy upon earth except as it is to be found in the enlightenment of the spirit--some ability to have a perceptive rather than an exploitive relationship with his fellow creatures.”
Loren Eiseley

Fyodor Dostoevsky
“Once he went into the mountains on a clear, sunny day, and wandered about for a long time with a tormenting thought that refused to take shape. Before him was the shining sky, below him the lake, around him the horizon, bright and infinite, as if it went on forever. For a long time he looked and suffered. He remembered now how he had stretched out his arms to that bright, infinite blue and wept. What had tormented him was that he was a total stranger to it all. What was this banquet, what was this great everlasting feast, to which he had long been drawn, always, ever since childhood, and which he could never join? Every morning the same bright sun rises; every morning there is a rainbow over the waterfall; every evening the highest snowcapped mountain, there, far away, at the edge of the sky, burns with a crimson flame; every little fly that buzzes near him in a hot ray of sunlight participates in this whole chorus: knows its place, loves it, and is happy; every little blade of grass grows and is happy! And everything has its path, and everything knows its path, goes with a song and comes back with a song; only he knows nothing, understands nothing, neither people nor sounds, a stranger to everything and a castaway.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

N.K. Jemisin
“We aren't human."

"Yes. We. Are." His voice turns fierce. "I don't give a shit what the something-somethingth council of big important farts decreed, or how the geomests classify things, or any of that. That we're not human is just the lie they tell themselves so they don't have to feel bad about how they treat us.”
N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season

Rebecca Solnit
“A lone walker is both present and detached, more than an audience but less than a participant. Walking assuages or legitimizes this alienation.”
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

“A hermit is simply a person to whom civilization has failed to adjust itself.”
Will Cuppy

Erich Fromm
“Modern capitalism needs men who co-operate smoothly, and in large numbers; who want to consume more and more; and whose tastes are standardized and can be easily influenced and anticipated. It needs men who feel free and independent, not subject to any authority or principle or conscience—yet willing to be commanded, to do what is expected of them, to fit into the social machine without friction; who can be guided without force, led without leaders, prompted without aim—except the one to make good, to be on the move, to function, to go ahead. What is the outcome? Modern man is alienated from himself, from his fellow men, and from nature.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

Peter Heller
“I want to be two people at once. One runs away.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars

Joss Whedon
“Tonight sucks. And look at me. Look at - look at stupid Buffy. Too dumb for college, and-and-and freak Buffy, too strong for construction work. And-and my job at the magic shop? I was bored to tears even before the hour that wouldn't end. And the only person that I can even stand to be around is a... neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker.”
Joss Whedon

Karl Marx
“The less you eat, drink, buy books, go to the theatre or to balls, or to the pub, and the less you think, love, theorize, sing, paint, fence, etc., the more you will be able to save and the greater will become your treasure which neither moth nor rust will corrupt—your capital. The less you are, the less you express your life, the more you have, the greater is your alienated life and the greater is the saving of your alienated being.”
Karl Marx, Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844

Terence McKenna
“The reason we feel alienated is because the society is infantile, trivial, and stupid. So the cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation. I grapple with this because I’m a parent. And I think anybody who has children, you come to this realization, you know—what’ll it be? Alienated, cynical intellectual? Or slack-jawed, half-wit consumer of the horseshit being handed down from on high? There is not much choice in there, you see. And we all want our children to be well adjusted; unfortunately, there’s nothing to be well adjusted to!”
Terence McKenna

Erik Pevernagie
“Through its creative power, art may trigger approximation, reconciliation and harmonization between individuals and peoples. Through art, beings can meet and exchange their points of view, as it rules out alienation, and arouses chemistry and understanding. By definition, art is universal and helps to cross borders and barriers without prejudice.”
Erik Pevernagie

Charlie Kaufman
“You and I share the same DNA.
Is there anything more lonely than that?”
Charlie Kaufman, Adaptation.: The Shooting Script

Cormac McCarthy
“If much in the world were mystery the limits of that world were not, for it was without measure or bound and there were contained within it creatures more horrible yet and men of other colors and beings which no man has looked upon and yet not alien none of it more than were their own hearts alien in them, whatever wilderness contained there and whatever beasts.”
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

David Graeber
“Political economy tends to see work in capitalist societies as divided between two spheres: wage labor, for which the paradigm is always factories, and domestic labor – housework, childcare – relegated mainly to women. The first is seen primarily as a matter of creating and maintaining physical objects. The second is probably best seen as a matter of creating and maintaining people and social relations.
[...] This makes it easier to see the two as fundamentally different sorts of activity, making it hard for us to recognize interpretive labor, for example, or most of what we usually think of as women’s work, as labor at all. To my mind it would probably be better to recognize it as the primary form of labor. Insofar as a clear distinction can be made here, it’s the care, energy, and labor directed at human beings that should be considered fundamental. The things we care most about – our loves, passions, rivalries, obsessions – are always other people; and in most societies that are not capitalist, it’s taken for granted that the manufacture of material goods is a subordinate moment in a larger process of fashioning people. In fact, I would argue that one of the most alienating aspects of capitalism is the fact that it forces us to pretend that it is the other way around, and that societies exist primarily to increase their output of things.”
David Graeber, Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination

Guy Debord
“This society eliminates geographical distance only to produce a new internal separation.”
Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle

Arthur Schopenhauer
“Men are like children, in that, if you spoil them, they become naughty. Therefore it is well not to be too indulgent or charitable with anyone. You may take it as a general rule that you will not lose a friend by refusing him a loan, but that you are very likely to do so by granting it; and, for similar reasons, you will not readily alienate people by being somewhat proud and careless in your behavior; but if you are very kind and complaisant towards them, you will often make them arrogant and intolerable, and so a breach will ensue.”
Arthur Schopenhauer, The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims

Jodi Picoult
“The hardest part about being back in the human world was relearning emotion. Everything a wolf does has a practical, simple reason. There is no cold shoulder, no saying one thing when you mean something else, no innuendo. Wolves fight for two reasons: family and territory. Humans are driven by ego; wolves have no room for it and will literally nip it out of you. For a wolf, the world is about understanding, knowledge, respect – attributes that many humans have cast off, along with an appreciation of the natural world.”
Jodi Picoult, Lone Wolf

John Chrysostom
“Do not say I use what is mine: you use what is alien to you; the indulgent, selfish use makes what is yours something alien; that is why I call it alien good, because you use it with a hardened heart and claim that it is right, that you alone live from what is yours.”
John Chrysostom

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