Imprisonment Quotes

Quotes tagged as "imprisonment" Showing 1-30 of 61
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein.

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities

Criss Jami
“I'm convinced that most men don't know what they believe, rather, they only know what they wish to believe. How many people blame God for man's atrocities, but wouldn't dream of imprisoning a mother for her son's crime?”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Howard Zinn
“I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions--poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed--which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished.

It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity.”
Howard Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times

Thomas A. Edison
“I have always been interested in this man. My father had a set of Tom Paine's books on the shelf at home. I must have opened the covers about the time I was 13. And I can still remember the flash of enlightenment which shone from his pages. It was a revelation, indeed, to encounter his views on political and religious matters, so different from the views of many people around us. Of course I did not understand him very well, but his sincerity and ardor made an impression upon me that nothing has ever served to lessen.

I have heard it said that Paine borrowed from Montesquieu and Rousseau. Maybe he had read them both and learned something from each. I do not know. But I doubt that Paine ever borrowed a line from any man...

Many a person who could not comprehend Rousseau, and would be puzzled by Montesquieu, could understand Paine as an open book. He wrote with a clarity, a sharpness of outline and exactness of speech that even a schoolboy should be able to grasp. There is nothing false, little that is subtle, and an impressive lack of the negative in Paine. He literally cried to his reader for a comprehending hour, and then filled that hour with such sagacious reasoning as we find surpassed nowhere else in American letters - seldom in any school of writing.

Paine would have been the last to look upon himself as a man of letters. Liberty was the dear companion of his heart; truth in all things his object.

...we, perhaps, remember him best for his declaration:

'The world is my country; to do good my religion.'

Again we see the spontaneous genius at work in 'The Rights of Man', and that genius busy at his favorite task - liberty. Written hurriedly and in the heat of controversy, 'The Rights of Man' yet compares favorably with classical models, and in some places rises to vaulting heights. Its appearance outmatched events attending Burke's effort in his 'Reflections'.

Instantly the English public caught hold of this new contribution. It was more than a defense of liberty; it was a world declaration of what Paine had declared before in the Colonies. His reasoning was so cogent, his command of the subject so broad, that his legion of enemies found it hard to answer him.

'Tom Paine is quite right,' said Pitt, the Prime Minister, 'but if I were to encourage his views we should have a bloody revolution.'

Here we see the progressive quality of Paine's genius at its best. 'The Rights of Man' amplified and reasserted what already had been said in 'Common Sense', with now a greater force and the power of a maturing mind. Just when Paine was at the height of his renown, an indictment for treason confronted him. About the same time he was elected a member of the Revolutionary Assembly and escaped to France.

So little did he know of the French tongue that addresses to his constituents had to be translated by an interpreter. But he sat in the assembly. Shrinking from the guillotine, he encountered Robespierre's enmity, and presently found himself in prison, facing that dread instrument.

But his imprisonment was fertile. Already he had written the first part of 'The Age of Reason' and now turned his time to the latter part.

Presently his second escape cheated Robespierre of vengeance, and in the course of events 'The Age of Reason' appeared. Instantly it became a source of contention which still endures. Paine returned to the United States a little broken, and went to live at his home in New Rochelle - a public gift. Many of his old companions in the struggle for liberty avoided him, and he was publicly condemned by the unthinking.

{The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}”
Thomas A. Edison, Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison

Wynonna Judd
“Most of us are imprisoned by something. We're living in darkness until something flips on the switch.”
Wynonna Judd

“Like a snake sheds its skin, we are capable of getting rid of assembled habits, creating space to call matters into question. Instead of the Shakespearian " To be or not to be " we could favor " to become or not to become". By "becoming", we challenge the range of possibilities in our life and go beyond the merely "being". We can retreat, then, from the imprisonment of a deadly routine, acquire an identity and develop our personality. ( "Man without Qualities" )”
Erik Pevernagie

“When we are able to break free from the imprisonment of our little, small self-thinking and dare to face the essence of life, we recognize we are never at home with ourselves. We are always on the road. By challenging the unknown and the unidentified we are capable of opening our skyline. ("Transcendental journey")”
Erik Pevernagie

Solomon Northup
“...So we passed, handcuffed and in silence, through the streets of Washington, through the Captial of a nation, whose theory of government, we are told, rests on the foundation of man's inalienable right to life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of happiness! Hail! Columbia, happy land, indeed!”
Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave

N.K. Jemisin
“The Fulcrum is not the first institution to have learned an eternal truth of humankind: No need for guards when you can convince people to collaborate in their own internment.”
N.K. Jemisin, The Stone Sky

Oscar Wilde
“The worst of it is that I am perpetually being punished for nothing; this governor loves to punish, and he punishes by taking my books away from me. It's perfectly awful to let the mind grind itself away between the upper and nether millstones of regret and remorse without respite; with books my life would be livable -- any life.”
Oscar Wilde

M.T. Anderson
“The worst stage was when one could tell she was still awake and almost alert, but she knew that nothing worked. Imprisoned. She was imprisoned. In a statue like the Sphinx. Looking out from the eyes. Her own mind, at that point, was as small and bewildered as a little fly. Behind great battlements.”
M.T. Anderson, Feed

S.F. Chandler
“When you fear nothing, you have nothing to fear”
S.F. Chandler, We The Great Are Misthought

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
“At no time have governments been moralists. They never imprisoned people and executed them for having done something. They imprisoned and executed them to keep them from doing something. They imprisoned all those POW's, of course, not for treason to the motherland, because it was absolutely clear even to a fool that only the Vlasov men could be accused of treason. They imprisoned all of them to keep them from telling their fellow villagers about Europe. What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve for.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books I-II

John Steinbeck
“The thing that give me the mos' trouble was, it didn' make no sense. You don't look for no sense when lightnin' kills a cow, or it comes up a flood. That's jus' the way things is. But when a bunch of men take an' lock you up four years, it ought to have some meaning. Men is supposed to think things out. Here they put me in, an' keep me an feed me four years. That ought to either make me so I won't do her again or else punish me so I'll be afraid to do her again"- he paused- "but if Herb or anybody else come for me, I'd do her again. Do her before I could figure her out. Specially if I was drunk. That sort of senselessness kind a worries a man.”
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Craig D. Lounsbrough
“The more we construct lives that prioritize safety, the bigger the prison we construct around ourselves.”
Craig D. Lounsbrough

Pat Barker
“They were men, and free. I was a woman, and a slave. And that’s a chasm no amount of sentimental chit-chat about shared imprisonment should be allowed to obscure.”
Pat Barker, The Silence of the Girls

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
“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

Jan Brokken
“Nadežda Mandel’štam si chiedeva continuamente se aveva fatto capire al marito con sufficiente chiarezza quanto lo amava e quanto lui fosse importante per lei. «Non so se sei vivo, ma da quel giorno ho perso ogni tua traccia», scrisse in chiusura delle sue memorie. «Non so dove sei. Se mi senti. Se sai quanto ti amo. Non ho fatto in tempo a dirti quanto ti amo. E non so dirlo nemmeno adesso. Dico solo: per te, per te… Sei sempre con me, e io, selvaggia e cattiva, io che non ho mai saputo piangere, adesso piango, piango, piango.»”
Jan Brokken, De gloed van Sint-Petersburg

“A person who has a criminal mind and would be punished by the referees and they will remain in isolation from others as an opportunity for them to reform. When he or she get released from his or her referees' custody, he or she would have a better understanding about the ethical and moral values of his or her society and not make the same mistake again.”
Saaif Alam

“An insincere individual would feel afraid to admit the truth because he or she wants to avoid facing the consequences with a guilty conscious . Eventually, he or she will get caught and will face more serve consequences for their guilty actions including committing acts of dishonesty.”
Saaif Alam

Shannon  Mullen
“A bus drives past and I’m nauseated by a whiff of exhaust. Then rotting fish. The rancid stench of sewage. Is it garbage day? I’m trapped in the pungent fog, in the dreary suburban-style shops, the rat race of city life. The city, even on the west coast, has the power to beat us down, to suck us of passion, to crush our dreams.”
Shannon M Mullen, See What Flowers

“One can be a prisoner at home in one's own bed as well as in a penitentiary.”
Marty Rubin

Craig D. Lounsbrough
“I would suggest that the prisons I incessantly create are not designed to lock me in, rather they are designed to lock the world out. And the oddity is that either way, I am a prisoner who has sentenced himself to a prison within which I do not belong.”
Craig D. Lounsbrough

Jan Golembiewski
“You’ve got a choice: ...you can just give in. You can give your jailers what they want. Switch off another light and in the ocean of darkness bow your head and cry. You can despair for your kids, and they can despair for you. But what does this choice give you? Have you any great new happiness now? What does your unhappiness give to your children? Why did you make this choice? Why did you walk into the trap of captivity?”
Jan Golembiewski, Magic

Franz Kafka
“No, freedom was not what I wanted. Only a way out; right or left, or in any direction; I made no other demand; even should the way out prove to be an illusion; the demand was a small one, the disappointment could be no bigger. To get out somewhere, to get out! Only not to stay motionless with raised arms, crushed against a wooden wall.”
Franz Kafka, A Report for an Academy

Tayari Jones
“I'm bringing this up because I knew that things like this happen to people, but by people, I didn't mean us.”
Tayari Jones, An American Marriage

Munia Khan
“Imprisoned peace sets the war free”
Munia Khan

Mukta Singh-Zocchi
“These days of internment are long. I do miss the falling blossoms, the manifold seasons of life, the thousand glances from the grand seductress – the world. But now all is uncertain.”
Mukta Singh-Zocchi, Game of Big Numbers

Sir P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar
“The best examples for lifetime imprisonment is the God in the temple and the dead body in the cemetery”
P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar

Chris Womersley
“To be imprisoned is to spend all one’s time longing for the life one can no longer experience. - Adam Lesage”
Chris Womersley, City of Crows

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