July 8, 2018

In his groundbreaking work, Look Back in Anger (1956), John Osborne uses the bear and squirrel game scene to explore the ups and downs seen in any marriage. Despite its adolescent nature, the game is highly symbolic and serves an important dramatic purpose. The players of the game are Jimmy Porter and Alison Porter, to whom this game is not only an escape from the harsh realities of life but also from their loveless conjugal life. To be precise, the game is simply a device for distraction or a gateway into the fantasy.

The subject couple could not form true feelings for each other in material life because of their discrete social gradation. Jimmy hails from a working class family while Alison from a middle class. Such class divergence creates a social barrier between the duos which always keeps them divided. However, the bear and squirrel game provides them the opportunity to overcome this class conflict since during the game they act like animal, whose only concern are food,  shelter and sex. Therefore, the game helps them to forget the marital agony, for it enables them to disregard their misunderstanding, and their maladjustment. In this way they momentarily transform into a romantic couple whereas they have fierce enmity in actual life.

The objects of the game, i.e., the stuffed teddy bear and the squirrel toys are kept on their dressing table or in the chest of drawers. In the bear and squirrel game Jimmy assumes the role of the bear while Alison of the squirrel. The large and ragged teddy bear which signifies the strength and arrogance of a real wild bear represents Jimmy's haughtiness. Contrariwise, the soft wooly small squirrel represents the feminine softness of Alison. The importance of the subject toys is first highlighted in Act II where Alison tells Helena about her bad experience after her marriage to Jimmy. Alison shares that she married Jimmy against her parents' consent as there was a huge gulf between their social statuses. She had subsequently found herself leading a very unsatisfactory life owing to Jimmy's unemployment, poverty, and above all his fiery temper. Jimmy always mocks about Alison's family and very rude to her. In short, the marriage, according to Alison's account, has come to nothing. The conjugal relationship between Alison and Jimmy is so unpleasant that Alison doesn't reveal her pregnancy to him. Alison then shows Helena the toy bear and the toy squirrel and explains the meaning of the game.  She goes on to say that this game was the only way in which she and Jimmy could escape from everything.

The couple is seen playing this game in Act I when Cliff goes out.  Jimmy affectionately calls Alison a "beautiful, great-eyed squirrel", a "Hoarding nut-munching squirrel", "With highly polished, gleaming fur, and an ostrich feather of a tail", etc. And this quasi-poetic description is so appealing to Alison that she produces the sound of a squirrel and calls Jimmy a "jolly super bear, too",  "A really marvelous bear". She jumps up and down in a state of excitement, making little "paw gestures". They are both very happy at this time and they lovingly embrace each other.  Alison thinks that everything just seems to be all right suddenly. Then, in that state of extreme bliss, she is about to tell Jimmy about her pregnancy when Cliff suddenly enters, and the dreamy world of the pair shatters.

Although Jimmy and Alison have played the game on certain occasions to have solace, now even that game seems to have lost its purpose.  In Jimmy's case the disillusionment stems from Alison's refusal to visit London to see dying Mrs. Tanner. Alison turned Jimmy down when he needed her most.  Her callousness shocked him so much that he suddenly feels solitary and forsaken. When Alison leaves with Helena for the church Jimmy picks up the teddy bear gently, looks at it, and then throws it on the floor realizing that it can't pacify him anymore. Contrariwise, being fed up with Jimmy’s rudeness Alison too is disillusioned from the fantasy world of animals. She decides to leave him for her parents' home. When Alison is packing up her things to go with her father, she picks up the toy squirrel from the chest of drawers and is about to put it in her suitcase when she changes her mind and puts it back. She realizes that now with a change in her relationship with Jimmy whom she has decided to leave the squirrel can have no meaning.

Towards the end of the play, however, Jimmy and Alison reunite. Their misunderstanding ends with a touching and romantic scene. Alison crawls and grovels at the feet of Jimmy. For a moment Jimmy stands rigid; then he bends and takes her trembling body in his embrace. He asks her not to cry, and tells her that he cannot bear see her in that condition. Jimmy also feels that he is not alone. He has somebody to cling to, somebody to lean on amidst the endless trials and tribulations of life. He then reminds her of the bear and squirrel game which they used to play, and says that they will again be the bear and the squirrel which they had previously imagined themselves to be. Like a bear and a squirrel they will live on honey and nuts; they will sing songs about themselves, about warm trees and cozy caves, and about sunlight. She will keep her big eyes on his fur, and she will keep his claws in proper order because he is a careless kind of bear. And he will see that she, the squirrel, keeps her soft and bushy tail shining as brightly as it should, because she is a very beautiful squirrel. At the same time, he points out that they have to be very careful because there will be cruel steel-traps lying about everywhere, just wanting to catch timid little animals. He then asks Alison if he is right, and she nods in agreement. He says in a pitying voice: "Poor squirrels!" At this she laughs a little, and looks at him very tenderly.

In fine, although initially the bear and squirrel game seems a trivial escape from the complexities found in any marriage,  at the end of the play the game becomes a statement of the nature of human love to share the pain and the pleasure of physical relationship.

The Significance of the Bear and Squirrel Game in Look Back in Anger


June 24, 2018

CHARLOTTE BRONTË (1816—1855) WAS A FAMOUS ENGLISH WOMEN NOVELIST AND POET OF THE VICTORIAN ERA.

“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”  ~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre


“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter - often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter - in the eye.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“What necessity is there to dwell on the Past, when the Present is so much surer-the Future so much brighter?”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“But life is a battle: may we all be enabled to fight it well!”
~ Charlotte Brontë, The Letters of Charlotte Brontë

“Wise people say it is folly to think anybody perfect; and as to likes and dislikes, we should be friendly to all, and worship none”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Villette

“It is not violence that best overcomes hate -- nor vengeance that most certainly heals injury.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“His mind was indeed my library, and whenever it was opened to me, I entered bliss.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Villette

“All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second self, and best earthly companion.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour ... If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“I envy you your peace of mind, your clean conscience, your unpolluted memory. Little girl, a memory without blot of contamination must be an exquisite treasure-an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment: is it not?”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“I am not an angel,' I asserted; 'and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me - for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“The human heart has hidden treasures,
In secret kept, in silence sealed;—
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,
Whose charms were broken if revealed.”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Evening Solace

June 21, 2018

ANTHONY BURGESS (1917- 1993) WAS ONE OF THE LEADING BRITISH ACADEMICS AND MOST VENERATED AND PROLIFIC LITERARY FIGURES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.

“The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.”  ~Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962)


“Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?”
~Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962)

“The East would always present that calm face of faint astonishment, unmoved at the anger, not understanding the bitterness.”
~Anthony Burgess, Time for a Tiger (1956)

“It had, perhaps, not been a very edifying life. On the booze in England, in India, in Malaya… And then a couple of gins for breakfast and then the first beers of the day in a kedai … He had been driven out of that Eden…because of his sinful desire to taste what was forbidden.”
~Anthony Burgess, Time for a Tiger (1956)

“Her face was that of a boy gang-leader, smooth with the innocence of one who, by the same quirk as blinds a man to the mystery of whistling or riding a bicycle, has never mastered the art of affection or compassion or properly learned the moral dichotomy.”
~Anthony Burgess, The Enemy in the Blanket (1958)

“Trade and gambling and a woman occasionally - that was a man’s life.”
~Anthony Burgess, Beds in the East (1959)

“He seemed to lose interest in the subject of his daughter, glooming at a yellow card of ancient railway regulations on the wall. But when the harbingers of the coming train were audible – porters trundling, a scrambled gabble from the station announcer, frantic blowing on hot tea – he became eager again and was out swiftly on to the platform. I followed him. The train slid in. I saw the driver look down disdainful from his cosy hell, sharing – like soldier and auxiliary – a mystique with the tea-room woman. Passengers, disillusioned with arrival, got out greyly amid grey steam; passengers, hungry for the illusion of getting somewhere, jostled their way on.”
~Anthony Burgess, The Right to an Answer (1960)

“She was an appetising woman with a full-cheeked smile, about thirty, a Nordic blonde but not icy, though ice was suggested in its tamed winter-sport aspects : the flush after skating, log-fires and hot rum and butter, fine heavy thighs, that would warm your hand like a muff, under a skirt that had swirled in a rink waltz. Her beaver lamb coat was thrust back from a green suit : solid charms, thoroughly wholesome, were indicated.”
~Anthony Burgess, The Right to an Answer (1960)

“After all, what bit of money I’ve made has been made among mosquitoes and sand-flies, snakes in the bedroom, long monotonous damp heat, boredom, exasperation with native clerks. Who are these sweet stay-at-homes, sweet well-contents, to try and suck it out of me and feel aggrieved if they can’t have it?”
~Anthony Burgess, The Right to an Answer (1960)

“Love seems inevitable, necessary, as normal and as easy a process as respiration.”
~Anthony Burgess, The Right to an Answer (1960)

“The window opened gently and a still Autumn night entered cat-like. Edwin smelt freedom and London autumn – decay, smoke, cold, motor oil.”
~Anthony Burgess, The Doctor is Sick (1960)

“Edwin, so much himself a sham, felt a sort of kinship with the sham pleasures of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street as they travelled painfully towards Soho.”
~Anthony Burgess, The Doctor is Sick (1960)

“There was a silence. Outside, and most unfortunately, a boy could be heard calling to another boy: ‘Piss off, Cowie.’ Stern looks were fixed on Woolton.”
~Anthony Burgess, The Worm and the Ring (1960)

“There were…smiles of encouragement for Lydgate, and some smiles of sweet pity as well, as for the only leper present.”
~Anthony Burgess, Devil of a State (1961)

“I suppose the only real reason for travelling is to learn that all people are the same.”
~Anthony Burgess, One Hand Clapping (1961)

“My son, my son. When I had my son I would explain all that to him when he was starry enough to like understand. But then I knew he would not understand or would not want to understand at all and would do all the veshches [things] I had done...and I would not be able to really stop him. And nor would he be able to stop his own son, brothers. And so it would itty on to like the end of the world.”
~Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962)

“There was no real need...of crasting any more pretty polly to tolchock some old veck in an alley and viddy him swim in his blood while we counted the takings and divided by four, nor to do the ultra-violent on some shivering starry grey-haired ptitsa in a shop and go smecking off with the till’s guts.”
~Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962)

“If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange—meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil.”
~Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962)

“The Government cannot be concerned any longer with outmoded penological theories....Common criminals...can best be dealt with on a purely curative basis. Kill the criminal reflex, that’s all.”
~Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962)

“The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.”
~Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962)

“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.”
~Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962)

“A perverse nature can be stimulated by anything. Any book can be used as a pornographic instrument, even a great work of literature if the mind that so uses it is off-balance. I once found a small boy masturbating in the presence of the Victorian steel-engraving in a family Bible.”
~Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962)

June 20, 2018

MAXIM GORKY (1868-1936), A PROMINENT TWENTIETH CENTURY RUSSIAN WRITER.

“All that is called Destiny or Fate is none other than the result of our thoughtlessness and our mistrust of ourselves; we should know that all that is created on earth is created by its sole Master and Laborer -- Man.” ~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts


“The good qualities in our soul are most successfully and forcefully awakened by the power of art. Just as science is the intellect of the world, art is its soul.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“Everybody, my friend, everybody lives for something better to come. That's why we want to be considerate of every man — Who knows what's in him, why he was born and what he can do?”
~ Maxim Gorky, The Lower Depths

“One has to be able to count, if only so that at fifty one doesn't marry a girl of twenty.”
~ Maxim Gorky, The Zykovs

“You can't do without philosophy, since everything has its hidden meaning which we must know.”
~ Maxim Gorky, The Zykovs

 “Processing the human raw material is naturally more complicated than processing lumber.”
~ Maxim Gorky, The I.V.Stalin White Sea - Baltic Sea Canal (1934)

“Lies are the religion of slaves and masters. Truth is the god of the free man.”
~ Maxim Gorky,  The Lower Depths

“Truth doesn't always heal a wounded soul.”
~ Maxim Gorky, The Lower Depths

“Remembrance of the past kills all present energy and deadens all hope for the future”
~ Maxim Gorky, "Creatures that Once were Men”

“The illness of a doctor is always worse than the illnesses of his patients. The patients only feel, but the doctor, as well as feeling, has a pretty good idea of the destructive effect of the disease on his constitution. This is a case in which knowledge brings death nearer.”
~ Maxim Gorky,  Literary Portraits

“This fear is what is the ruin of us all. And some dominate us; they take advantage of our fear and frighten us still more. Mark this: as long as people are afraid, they will rot like the birches in the marsh. We must grow bold; it is time!”
~ Maxim Gorky,  The Mother

“Politics is something similar to the lower physiological functions, with the unpleasant difference that political functions are unavoidably carried out in public.”
~ Maxim Gorky,  Untimely Thoughts: Essays on Revolution, Culture, and the Bolsheviks, 1917-1918

“In the monotony of everyday existence grief comes as a holiday, and a fire is an entertainment. A scratch embellishes an empty face.”
~ Maxim Gorky,  My Childhood

“The more a human creature has tasted of bitter things the more it hungers after the sweet things of life.”
~ Maxim Gorky,  Her Lover

“Everywhere, within man and without, there is devastation, instability, chaos, and evidence of some prolonged rout.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“Politics is the soil in which the nettle of poisonous enmity, evil suspicions, shameless lies, slander, morbid ambitions, and disrespect for the individual grows rapidly and luxuriantly. Name anything bad in man and it is precisely in the soil of political struggle that it grows with particular liveliness and abundance.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“All that is called Destiny or Fate is none other than the result of our thoughtlessness and our mistrust of ourselves; we should know that all that is created on earth is created by its sole Master and Laborer -- Man.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“Let us not search for the guilty ones only among others, let us speak the bitter truth: we are all guilty ... each and every one of us.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“The poor are always rich in children, and in the dirt and ditches of this street there are groups of them from morning to night, hungry, naked and dirty. Children are the living flowers of the earth, but these had the appearance of flowers that have faded prematurely, because they grew in ground where there was no healthy nourishment.”
~ Maxim Gorky, "Creatures that Once were Men"

“Just think, reader, what will happen to you if the truth of a mad beast overpowers the sane truth of man?”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“Our most merciless enemy is our past.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“Our salvation is in work, but let us also take delight in that work.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“The revolution has overthrown the monarchy, true! But perhaps this means that the revolution simply has driven the skin disease inside the organism.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“To speak the truth is the most difficult of all arts, for in its "pure" form, not connected with the interests of individuals, groups, classes, or nations, truth is almost completely unsuitable for use by the Philistine and is unacceptable to him.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“Winter is approaching. Yes, it is approaching ... How to live?”
~ Maxim Gorky, “Creatures That Once Were Men”

 “When one loves somebody everything is clear— where to go, what to do— it all takes care of itself and one doesn't have to ask anybody about anything.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Jerry Dorsman's How to Achieve Peace of Mind

“Politics is something similar to the lower physiological functions, with the unpleasant difference that political functions are unavoidably carried out in public.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“Intellectual force is qualitatively the first and foremost productive force, and concern for its rapid growth should be the ardent concern of all classes.”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts

“In war it is necessary to kill as many people as possible -- such is the cynical logic of war. Brutality in a fight is unavoidable; have you seen how cruelly children fight in the streets?”
~ Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts


June 14, 2018

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY (1821-1881) WAS A RUSSIAN NOVELIST, SHORT STORY WRITER, ESSAYIST, AND PHILOSOPHER.

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on Earth.” ~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)


“Neither a person nor a nation can exist without some higher idea. And there is only one higher idea on earth, and it is the idea of the immortality of the human soul, for all other "higher" ideas of life by which humans might live derive from that idea alone.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, A Writer's Diary, Volume 1: 1873-1876 (1994), p. 734

“Money is coined liberty, and so it is ten times dearer to the man who is deprived of freedom. If money is jingling in his pocket, he is half consoled, even though he cannot spend it. But money can always and everywhere be spent, and, moreover, forbidden fruit is sweetest of all.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, The House of the Dead (1915), as translated by Constance Garnett, p. 16

“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, The House of the Dead (1862) as translated by Constance Garnett; as cited in The Yale Book of Quotations (2006) by Fred R. Shapiro, p. 210

“If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Insulted and the Injured (1861)

“Civilization has made man, if not always more bloodthirsty, at least more viciously, more horribly bloodthirsty.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (1864), Part 1, Chapter 7 (page 23)

“The best definition of man is: a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (1864), Part 1, Chapter 8 (page 28)

“To care only for well-being seems to me positively ill-bred. Whether it's good or bad, it is sometimes very pleasant, too, to smash things.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (1864), Part 1, Chapter 9 (page 32)

“A gentleman, even if he loses everything he owns, must show no emotion. Money must be so far beneath a gentleman that it is hardly worth troubling about.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Gambler (1866)

“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)

“Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)

“Accept suffering and achieve atonement through it — that is what you must do.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on Earth.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)

“Lack of originality, everywhere, all over the world, from time immemorial, has always been considered the foremost quality and the recommendation of the active, efficient and practical man...”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot (1868–9)

“Inventors and geniuses have almost always been looked on as no better than fools at the beginning of their career, and very frequently at the end of it also.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot (1868–9)

“Man is unhappy because he doesn't know he's happy. It's only that.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Possessed (1872)

“There is no sin, and there can be no sin on all the earth, which the Lord will not forgive to the truly repentant! Man cannot commit a sin so great as to exhaust the infinite love of God. Can there be a sin which could exceed the love of God?”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1879–1880), Book II, ch. 3 (trans. Constance Garnett)

June 6, 2018

JACK LONDON (1876 - 1916), A PROMINENT AMERICAN NOVELIST AND JOURNALIST WHO IS BEST KNOWN FOR "CALL OF THE WILD” (1903) AND “THE SEA WOLF” (1904).

“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.” ~Jack London, The Call of the Wild (1903)


“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
~Jack London, The Bulletin, San Francisco, California, December 2, 1916, part 2, p. 1.

“Life achieves its summit when it does to the uttermost that which it was equipped to do.”
~Jack London, White Fang (1906)

“The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances.”
~Jack London, “To Build a Fire” published as a collection of short stories in the book Lost Face (1910)

“I do not live for what the world thinks of me, but for what I think of myself.”
~Jack London, Letter to Charles Warren Stoddard (21 August 1903)

“But I am I. And I won't subordinate my taste to the unanimous judgment of mankind”
~Jack London, Martin Eden

“As one grows weaker one is less susceptible to suffering. There is less hurt because there is less to hurt.”
~Jack London, The Star Rover

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog when you are just as hungry as the dog.”
~Jack London,"Confession" in Complete Works of Jack London, Delphi Classics, 2013

“He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.”
~Jack London,The Call of the Wild (1903)

“He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive.”
~Jack London, The Call of the Wild (1903)

“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.”
~Jack London, The Call of the Wild (1903)

“These women, capable of the most sublime emotions, of the tenderest sympathies, were openmouthed and screaming. They wanted to live, they were helpless, likes rats in a trap, and they screamed.”
~Jack London, The Sea-Wolf (1904)

“Do you know the only value life has is what life puts upon itself? And it is of course overestimated, for it is of necessity prejudiced in its own favour. Take that man I had aloft. He held on as if he were a precious thing, a treasure beyond diamonds of rubies. To you? No. To me? Not at all. To himself? Yes. But I do not accept his estimate. He sadly overrates himself. There is plenty more life demanding to be born. Had he fallen and dripped his brains upon the deck like honey from the comb, there would have been no loss to the world. The supply is too large.”
~Jack London, The Sea-Wolf (1904)

“The loneliness of the man is slowly being borne in upon me. There is not a man aboard but hates or fears him, nor is there a man whom he does not despise.”
~Jack London, The Sea-Wolf (1904)

“And through it all, calm and impassive, leaning on his elbow and gazing down, Wolf Larsen seemed lost in a great curiosity. This wild stirring of yeasty life, this terrific revolt and defiance of matter that moved, perplexed and interested him.”
~Jack London, The Sea-Wolf (1904)

“Men do not knowingly drink for the effect alcohol produces on the body. What they drink for is the brain-effect; and if it must come through the body, so much the worse for the body.”
~Jack London, John Barleycorn (1913)

“The fortunate man is the one who cannot take more than a couple of drinks without becoming intoxicated. The unfortunate wight is the one who can take many glasses without betraying a sign; who must take numerous glasses in order to get the kick.”
~Jack London, John Barleycorn (1913)

“There are things greater than our wisdom, beyond our justice. The right and wrong of this we cannot say, and it is not for us to judge.”
~Jack London, “An Odyssey of the North" in The Best Short Stories of Jack London (1962)


May 29, 2018

NOAM CHOMSKY (B. 1928) IS AN EMINENT AMERICAN LINGUIST, PHILOSOPHER, AND POLITICAL WRITER.

“Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.”  ~ Noam Chomsky

“The beauty of our system is that it isolates everybody. Each person is sitting alone in front of the tube, you know. It's very hard to have ideas or thoughts under those circumstances. You can't fight the world alone.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.”
~ Noam Chomsky

 “The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don't know how to be submissive, and so on -- because they're dysfunctional to the institutions.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum...”
~ Noam Chomsky, The Common Good

“That's the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody's going to be against, and everybody's going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn't mean anything.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“The war is simply an obscenity, a depraved act by weak and miserable men, including all of us who have allowed it to go on and on with endless fury and destruction - all of us who would have remained silent, had stability and order been secured.”
~ Noam Chomsky,  American Power and the New Mandarins, 1969

“Personally I'm in favor of democracy, which means that the central institutions in the society have to be under popular control. Now, under capitalism we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be established at every level -- there's a little bargaining, a little give and take, but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward. Just as I'm opposed to political fascism, I'm opposed to economic fascism. I think that until major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, it's pointless to talk about democracy.”
~ Noam Chomsky, "One Man's View : Noam Chomsky interviewed by an anonymous interviewer," Business Today, May 1973.

“In the American Jewish community, there is little willingness to face the fact that the Palestinian Arabs have suffered a monstrous historical injustice, whatever one may think of the competing claims. Until this is recognized, discussion of the Middle East crisis cannot even begin.”
~ Noam Chomsky, Peace in the Middle East? Reflections on Justice and Nationhood, 1974, p. 54.

“The Cold War ideology and the international communist conspiracy function in an important way as essentially a propaganda device to mobilize support at a particular historical moment for this long-time imperial enterprise. In fact, I believe that this is probably the main function of the Cold War: it serves as a useful device for the managers of American society and their counterparts in the Soviet Union to control their own populations and their own respective imperial systems.”
~ Noam Chomsky, Government in the Future, 1970, P. 143

“We may usefully think of the language faculty, the number faculty, and others as 'mental organs,' analogous to the heart or the visual system or the system of motor coordination and planning. There appears to be no clear demarcation line between physical organs, perceptual and motor systems and cognitive faculties in the respects in question.”
~ Noam Chomsky, Rules and Representations (1980), P. 4

“That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“It is quite possible--overwhelmingly probable, one might guess--that we will always learn more about human life and personality from novels than from scientific psychology”
~ Noam Chomsky

“Science is a bit like the joke about the drunk who is looking under a lamppost for a key that he has lost on the other side of the street, because that's where the light is. It has no other choice.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“Our ignorance can be divided into problems and mysteries. When we face a problem, we may not know its solution, but we have insight, increasing knowledge, and an inkling of what we are looking for. When we face a mystery, however, we can only stare in wonder and bewilderment, not knowing what an explanation would even look like.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“The death penalty can be tolerated only by extreme statist reactionaries who demand a state that is so powerful that it has the right to kill.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“The key element of social control is the strategy of distraction that is to divert public attention from important issues and changes decided by political and economic elites, through the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“In summary, it is the diversity of human behavior, its appropriateness to new situations, and man’s capacity to innovate – the creative aspect of language use providing the principal indication of this –that leads Descartes to attribute possession of mind to other humans, since he regards this capacity as beyond the limitations of any imaginable mechanism.”
~ Noam Chomsky, Cartesian Linguistics (3rd ed., 2009)

“Cartesian linguistics was not concerned simply with descriptive grammar, in this sense, but rather with “grammaire générale,” that is, with the universal principles of language structure.”
~ Noam Chomsky, Cartesian Linguistics (3rd ed., 2009)

“Despite these shortcomings, the insights into the organization of grammar that were achieved in Cartesian linguistics remain quite impressive, and a careful study of this work can hardly fail to prove rewarding to a linguist who approaches it without prejudice or preconceptions as to the a priori limitations on permitted linguistic investigation.”
~ Noam Chomsky, Cartesian Linguistics (3rd ed., 2009)

Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analogue in the animal world.
~ Noam Chomsky

“Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.”
~ Noam Chomsky


Random Articles