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Twenty Years at Hull House Twenty Years at Hull House by Jane Addams
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“In the unceasing ebb and flow of justice and oppression we must all dig channels as best we may, that at the propitious moment somewhat of the swelling tide may be conducted to the barren places of life.”
Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House
“Perhaps nothing is so fraught with significance as the human hand, this oldest tool with which man has dug his way from savagery, and with which he is constantly groping forward.”
Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House
“In his own way each man must struggle, lest the moral law become a far-off abstraction utterly separated from his active life.”
Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House
“It was not until years afterward that I came upon Tolstoy’s phrase “the snare of preparation,” which he insists we spread before the feet of young people, hopelessly entangling them in a curious inactivity at the very period of life when they are longing to construct the world anew and to conform it to their own ideals.”
Jane Addams, 20 Years at Hull House
“It is easy to become the dupe of a deferred purpose, of the promise the future can never keep, and I had fallen into the meanest type of self-deception in making myself believe that all this was in preparation for great things to come.”
Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House
“In the German and French pensions, which twenty-five years ago were crowded with American mothers and their daughters who had crossed the seas in search of culture, one often found the mother making real connection with the life about her, using her inadequate German with great fluency, gaily measuring the enormous sheets or exchanging recipes with the German Hausfrau, visiting impartially the nearest kindergarten and market, making an atmosphere of her own, hearty and genuine as far as it went, in the house and on the street. On the other hand, her daughter was critical and uncertain of her linguistic acquirements, and only at ease when in the familiar receptive attitude afforded by the art gallery and the opera house. In the latter she was swayed and moved, appreciative of the power and charm of the music, intelligent as to the legend and poetry of the plot, finding use for her trained and developed powers as she sat "being cultivated" in the familiar atmosphere of he classroom which had, as it were, become sublimated and romanticized.”
Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House
“But stranger than any episode was the fact itself that neither the convict, his wife, nor his godfather for a moment considered him a criminal. He had merely gotten excited over cards and had stabbed his adversary with a knife. "Why should a man who took his luck badly be kept forever from the sun?" was their reiterated inquiry.”
Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House
“I recall that in planning my first European journey I had soberly hoped in two years to trace the entire pattern of human excellence as we passed from one country to another, in the shrines popular affection had consecrated to the saints, in the frequented statues erected to heroes, and in the "worn blasonry of funeral brasses" - an illustration that when we are young we all long for those mountaintops upon which we may soberly stand and dream of our own ephemeral and uncertain attempts at righteousness.”
Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House
“I had confidence that although life itself might contain many difficulties, the period of mere passive receptivity had come to an end, and I had at last finished with the ever-lasting "preparation for life," however prepared I might be.
It was not until years afterward that I came upon Tolstoy's phrase "the snare of preparation," which he insists we spread before the feet of young people, hopelessly entangling them in a curious inactivity at the very period of life when they are longing to construct the world anew and to conform it to their own ideals.”
Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House