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Kurt Vonnegut Quotes

54 of the best book quotes from Kurt Vonnegut
01
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″A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”
Kurt Vonnegut
author
The Sirens of Titan
book
Malachi Constant
character
love
purpose
control
human
concepts
02
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Earthlings went on being friendly, when they should have been thinking instead.
03
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It had given him a life not worth living, but I had also given him an iron will to live. This was a common combination on the planet Earth.
04
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The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head.
05
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Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind.
06
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The big show is inside my head.
07
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I couldn’t help wondering if that was what God put me on Earth for--to find out how much a man could take without breaking.
08
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In nonsense is strength.
09
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Everybody else is a robot, a machine. Some persons seem to like you, and others seem to hate you, and you must wonder why.
10
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Roses are red, And ready for plucking, You’re sixteen, And ready for high school.
11
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People took such awful chances with chemicals and their bodies because they wanted the quality of their lives to improve.
12
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Goodbye blue Monday.
13
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Of course it is exhausting, having to reason all the time in a universe which wasn’t meant to be reasonable.
14
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New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.
15
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If I want to make friends with him, I ask him what he believes. He tells me, and I say, “Yeah, yeah - ain’t it the truth?”
16
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I can have oodles of charm when I want to.
17
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Seems like the only kind of job an American can get these days is committing suicide in some way.
18
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There is no order in the world around us, we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead.
19
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So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines.
20
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Much of the conversation in the country consisted of lines from television shows, both past and present.
21
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“Call Me Jonah. My parents did, or nearly did. They called me John.”
22
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“The novel was about the end of the world in the year 2000, and the name of the book was 2000 A.D. It told about how mad scientists made a terrific bomb that wiped out the whole world.”
23
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″‘(Dr. Breed) said science was going to discover the basic secret of life someday,’ the bartender put in.”
24
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″‘I don’t think (Newt’s painting is) very nice,’ Angela complained. ‘I think it’s ugly, but I don’t know anything about modern art. Sometimes I wish Newt would take some lessons, so he could know for sure if he was doing something or not.‘”
25
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“Father needs some kind of book to read to people who are dying or in terrible pain. I don’t suppose you’ve written anything like that.”
26
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“Newt remained curled in the chair. He held out his painty hands as though a cat’s cradle were strung between them. ‘No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat’s cradle is nothing but a bunch of X’s between somebody’s hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X’s….‘”
27
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″‘The thing I like,’ said Hazel, ‘is they all speak English and they’re all Christians. That makes things so much easier.‘”
28
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″‘Magic,’ declared Miss Pefko. ‘I’m sorry to hear a member of the Laboratory family using that brackish, medieval world,’ said Dr. Breed.”
29
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“No, I don’t think my conscience would let me support a strike like that. When a man becomes a writer, I think he takes on a sacred obligation to produce beauty and enlightenment and comfort at top speed.”
30
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“I would have been a Bokononist then, if there had been anyone to teach me the bittersweet lies of Bokonon.”
31
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“Truth was the enemy of the people, because the truth was so terrible, so Bokonon made it his business to provide the people with better and better lies.”
32
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″‘I’ll think you’ll find,’ said Dr. Breed, ‘that everybody does about the same amount of thinking. Scientists simply think about things in one way, and other people think about things in others.‘”
33
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“It was the belief of Bokonon that good societies could be built only by pitting good against evil, and by keeping the tension between the two high at all times.”
34
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“The stop-and-go signs, garish ghosts in the sleet, went through their irrelevant tomfoolery again and again, telling the glacier of automobiles what to do. Green meant go. Red meant stop. Orange meant change and caution.”
35
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″(The San Lorenzans) were all employed full time as actors in a play they understood, that any human being anywhere could understand and applaud.”
36
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″‘Nothing generous about it. New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.’ Had I been a Bokononist then, that statement would have made me howl.”
37
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“Anyone unable to understand how a useful religion can be founded on lies will not understand this book either.”
38
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“Actually, I am a very lucky person and I know it. I am about to marry a wonderful little girl. There is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look. I am proof of that.”
39
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“And how can you say a man had a good mind when he couldn’t even bother to do anything when the best-hearted, most beautiful woman in the world, his own wife, was dying for lack of love and understanding…”
40
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“She broke my heart. I didn’t like that much. But that was the price. In this world, you get what you pay for.”
41
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“Everyone now knows how to find the meaning of life within himself. But mankind wasn’t always so lucky. Less than a century ago men and women did not have easy access to the puzzle boxes within them. They could not name even one of the fifty-three portals to the soul.”
42
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“When I ran my space ship into the chrono-synclastic infundibulum, it came to me in a flash that everything that has been always will be, and everything that ever will be always has been.” He chuckled again. “Knowing that rather takes the glamour out of fortunetelling—makes it the simplest, most obvious thing imaginable.”
43
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“He was too good a soldier to go around asking questions, trying to round out his knowledge. A soldier’s knowledge wasn’t supposed to be round.”
44
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“Unk, old friend—almost everything I know for sure has come from fighting the pain from my antenna […] Whenever I start to turn my head and look at something, and the pain comes, I keep turning my head anyway, because I know I am going to see something I’m not supposed to see. Whenever I ask a question, and the pain comes, I know I have asked a really good question […] The more pain I train myself to stand, the more I learn. You are afraid of the pain now, Unk, but you won’t learn anything if you don’t invite the pain. And the more you learn, the gladder you will be to stand the pain.”
45
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“Everything that every Earthling has ever done has been warped by creatures on a planet one-hundred-and-fifty thousand light years away. The name of the planet is Tralfamador.”
46
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“The moral: Money, position, health, handsomeness, and talent aren’t everything.”
47
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“As free as it wanted to be—that’s how free the free will of Boaz was.”
48
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“ ‘Luck, good or bad,’ said Rumfoord up in his treetop, ‘is not the hand of God.’ ‘Luck,’ said Rumfoord up in his treetop, ‘is the way the wind swirls and the dust settles eons after God has passed by.’ ”
49
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“I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.”
50
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“There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.”
51
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“He watched and recorded their subversive activities with love, amusement, and detachment.”
52
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“The worst thing that could possibly happen to anybody,” she said, “would be to not be used for anything by anybody.”
53
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We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.
54
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“Always pitiful when any human being falls into a condition hardly more respectable than that of an animal. How much more pitiful it is when the person who falls has had all the advantages!”

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