isolation Quotes

58 of the best book quotes about isolation
“Suffering means being cut off from God. Therefore those who live in communion with him cannot really suffer.”
“In all her years of itinerant living, Mia had developed one rule: Don’t get attached to any place, to any apartment, to anything. To anyone.”
“My brothers gave me that name when I was little. It’s a kind of tree in Lienid, the po tree. In autumn its leaves turn silver and gold. Inevitable nickname, I guess.” Katsa wondered if the name had been given fondly, or it had been an attempt by Po’s brothers to isolate him—to remind him always that he was a Graceling.
“They swallow her whole and she never looks back at me. Not once.”
“Deprived of Victim, Mom and Dad holler at each other. I turn up the music to drown out the noise.”
“He saw clearly too his own futile isolation. He had not gone one step nearer the lives he had sought to approach nor bridged the restless shame and rancour that had divided him from mother and brother and sister. He felt that he was hardly of the one blood with them but stood to them rather in the mystical kinship of fosterage, fosterchild and fosterbrother.”
“As individuals each of us is extremely isolated, while ... all linked by a prototypical memory. ”
“How aimless it was, how chaotic, how unreal it was, she thought, looking at her empty coffee cup. Mrs. Ramsay dead; Andrew killed; Prue dead too—repeat it as she might, it roused no feeling in her.”
“Isolation and the potential loss of loving connection is coded by the human brain into a primal panic response.”
“That first night I sit there and all I know, as I look up, is the kitchen light is on, on the cliff, to the right, where somebody’s just built a cabin overlooking all the horrible Sur, somebody up there’s having a mild and tender supper that’s all I know...”
“After her father’s death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all.”
″‘That’s not what I meant, though. I meant… that you’re different from the other people in the neighborhood, you know?’ Of course he knew. They’d all been telling him so his whole life.”
“The women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old man-servant – a combined gardener and cook – had seen in at least ten years.”
“There were moments—not just today, moments every day since they’d met—when Eleanor made him self-conscious, when he saw people talking and he was sure they were talking about them. Raucous moments on the bus when he was sure that everyone was laughing at them.”
“So [Miss Emily] vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell.”
“What infinite heartsease Must kings neglect that private men enjoy?”
“From that time on her front door remained closed, save for a period of six or seven years, when she was about forty, during which she gave lessons in china-painting.”
“It wouldn’t do any good to tell him that she hadn’t been that girl at her old school. Yeah, she’d been made fun of before. There were always mean boys—and there were always, always mean girls—but she’d had friends at her old school.”
″‘I hate meeting new people,’ she whispered. ‘Why?’ ‘Because they never like me.‘”
“Yet, in reason, no man should possess him with any appearance of fear, lest he, by showing it, should dishearten his army.”
“There was something he knew and something he felt; something the world gave him and something he himself had. . . . ever in all his life, with this black skin of his, had the two worlds, thought and feeling, will and mind, aspiration and satisfaction, been together; never had he felt a sense of wholeness.”
“I’m bursting to explain everything to him, not even Big Sur but the past several years, but there’s no chance with everybody yakking -- And in fact I can see in Cody’s eyes that he can see in my own eyes the regret we both feel that recently we haven’t had chances to talk whatever, like we used to do driving across America and back in the old road days, too many people now want to talk to us and tell us their stories, we’ve been hemmed in and surrounded and outnumbered -- The circle’s closed in on the old heroes of the night.”
“It’s like I live in a cage with no door and no key. And I have no way to tell someone how to get me out.”
“They don’t know where to find us. That and they can’t enter loops. So we’re safe on the island—but we can’t leave.”
“One day my mother sat me down and explained that I couldn’t become an explorer because everything in the world had already been discovered.”
“Amaranta could not reconcile her image of the brother who had spent his adolescence making little gold fishes with that of the mythical warrior who had placed a distance of ten feet between himself and the rest of humanity. But when the approach of the armistice became known and they thought that he would return changed back into a human being, delivered at last for the hearts of his own people, the family feelings, dormant for such a long time, were reborn stronger than ever.”
“Dreaming of his future, he no longer heard all the things she did not say. ”
“It happen’d one Day about Noon going towards my Boat, I was exceedingly surpriz’d with the Print of a Man’s naked Foot on the Shore, which was very plain to be seen in the Sand: I stood like one Thunder-struck, or as if I had seen an Apparition; I listen’d, I look’d round me, I could hear nothing, nor see any Thing, I went up to a rising Ground to look farther, I went up the Shore and down the Shore, but it was all one, I could see no other Impression but that one, I went to it again to see if there were any more, and to observe if it might not be my Fancy;”
“Then to see how like a King I din’d too all alone, attended by my Servants, Poll, as if he had been my Favourite, was the only Person permitted to talk to me. My Dog who was no grown very old and crazy, and had found no Species to multiply his Kind upon, sat always at my Right Hand, and two Cats, one on one Side the Table, and one on the other, expecting now and then a Bit from my Hand, as a Mark of Special Favour. ”
“Well, however, I lugg’d this Money home to my Cave, and laid it up, as I had done that before, which I brought from our own Ship; but it was great Pity as I said, that the other Part of this Ship had not come to my Share; for I am satisfy’d I might have loaded my Canoe several Times over with Money, which if I had ever escap’d to England, would have lain here safe enough, till I might have come again and fetch’d it.”
“This was the pleasantest Year of all the Life I led in this Place; Friday began to talk pretty well, and understand the Names of almost every Thing I had occasion to call for, and of ever Place I had to send him to, and talk’d a great deal to me; so that in short I began now to have some Use for my Tongue again, which indeed I had very little occasion for before; that is to say, about Speech;”
“I cannot explain by an possible Energy of Words, what a strange longing or hankering of Desires I felt in my Soul upon this Sight; breaking out sometimes thus; O that there had been but one or two; nay, or but one Soul sav’d out of this Ship, to have escap’d to me, that I might but have had one Companion, one Fellow-Creature to have spoken to me, and to have convers’d with! In all the Time of my solitary Life, I never felt so earnest, so strong a Desire after the Society of my Fellow-Creatures, or so deep a Regret at the want of it.”
“My Island was now peopled, and I thought my self very rich in Subjects; and it was a merry Reflection which I frequently made, How like a King I look’d. First of all, the whole Country was my own meer Property; so that I had an undoubted Right of Dominion. 2dly, My people were perfectly subjected: I was absolute Lord and Law-giver; they all owed their Lives to me, and were ready to lay down their Lives, if there had been Occasion of it, for me. It was remarkable too, we had but three Subjects, and they were of three different Religions. My Man Friday was a Protestant, his Father was a Pagan and a Cannibal, and the Spaniard was a Papist: However, I allow’d Liberty of Conscience throughout my Dominions: But this is by the Way.”
“I have been one acquainted with the night.”
“He needed his solitude at times, but he wasn’t a hermit. He did a lot of socializing. Sometimes I think it was like he was storing up company for the times when he knew nobody would be around.”
“I gotta think about that. We was always gonna do it by ourselves.”
“This was an insane plan and somehow it worked! I’m going to be talking to someone again. I spent three months as the loneliest man in history and it’s finally over.”
“I never realized how utterly silent Mars is. It’s a desert world with practically no atmosphere to convey sound. I could hear my own heartbeat.”
“Mars is a barren wasteland and I am completely alone here. I already knew that, of course. But there’s a difference between knowing it and really experiencing it.”
“—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden, Yours arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing Looking into the heart of light, the silence.”
“I could never stand more than three months of dreaming at a time without feeling an irresistible desire to plunge into society. To plunge into society meant to visit my superior at the office... I was overcome by a sort of paralysis; but this was pleasant and good for me. On returning home I deferred for a time my desire to embrace all mankind. ”
“Only I know how long I have been here. Nights and days and days and nights, hundreds of them slipping through my fingers. But that does not matter. Time has no meaning. But something you can touch and hold like my red dress, that has a meaning.”
“Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he comes involved in it, the more disastrous his isolation.”
“They whose lot is gravest must have the carefullest training to think aright.”
“Immediately then the thought came sweeping across me, what miserable friendlessness and loneliness are here revealed. His poverty is great, but his solitude, how horrible! Think of it. Of a Sunday, Wall Street is deserted as Petra, and every night of every day it is an emptiness. This building, too, which of weekdays hums with industry and life, at nightfall echoes with sheer vacancy, and all through Sunday is forlorn. And here Bartleby makes his home, sole spectator of a solitude which he has seen all populous – a sort of innocent and transformed Marius brooding among the ruins of Carthage!”
“Meanwhile Bartleby sat in his hermitage, oblivious to everything but his own particular business there.”
“The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.”
“If he would but have named a single relative or friend, I would instantly have written and urged their taking the poor fellow away to some convenient retreat. But he seemed alone, absolutely alone in the universe. A bit of wreck in the mid-Atlantic.”
“The bond of common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom. A fraternal melancholy! For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam. I remembered the bright silks and sparkling faces I had seen that day, in gala trim, swanlike sailing down the Mississippi of Broadway; and I contrasted them with the pallid copyist, and thought to myself, Ah, happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay, but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none.”
“In a small place, people cultivate small events. The small event is isolated, blown up, turned over and over, and then absorbed into the everyday.”
“One of the greatest problems people have with failure is that they are too quick to judge isolated situations in their lives and label them as failures. Instead, they need to keep the bigger picture in mind.”
The girls, who often experience related feelings of isolation and misunderstanding, live in a rundown home on the far-rural edges of Sydney, Australia with their uncle, a piano player at a dilapidated hotel in the city, and mother who may be carrying on a secret affair.
“And then he remembers that his parents can’t possibly reach him: he has not given them the number, and the Ratliffs are unlisted. That here at Maxine’s side, in this cloistered wilderness, he is free.”
“The artificiality of his smile belies his good looks, however, indicating the depth of his isolation and rendering him unpleasant to look at.”
“It becomes clear that Jude was sexually traumatized at a very young age, making it difficult for him to engage in romantic relationships. His friends and loved ones begin questioning this isolation as he enters his forties, with Willem especially being baffled with regard to Jude’s sexuality.”
“The longer Father argued his case, the angrier she became. I could tell he had lost, and that I was becoming more and more isolated.”
“Storm Boy” explores the relationship between a boy and his friend, even when the friend is a pelican, as well as touching on hunting, conservation, and the isolation, remoteness, and hardships of parts of Australia.
“Something in our nature cries out to be loved by another. Isolation is devastating to the human psyche. That is why solitary confinement is considered the cruelest of punishments.”

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