Ralph Ellison Quotes

24 of the best book quotes from Ralph Ellison
  1. #1
    The truth is the light and the light is the truth.
  2. #2
    And the mind that has conceived a plan of living must never lose sight of the chaos against which that pattern was conceived. That goes for societies as well as for individuals.
  3. #3
    Play the game, but don’t believe in it – that much you owe yourself … Play the game, but raise the ante, my boy. Learn how it operates, learn how you operate.
  4. #4
    Perhaps to lose a sense of where you are implies the danger of losing a sense of who you are.
  5. #5
    Please, a definition: A hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action.
  6. #6
    And my problem was that I always tried to go in everyone’s way but my own.
  7. #7
    Power doesn’t have to show off. Power is confident, self-assuring, self-starting and self-stopping, self-warming and self-justifying. When you have it, you know it.
  8. #8
    Perhaps everyone loved someone; I didn’t now, I couldn’t give much thought to love.
  1. #9
    What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?
  2. #10
    I do not know if all cops are poets, but I know that all cops carry guns with triggers.
  3. #11
    Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.
  4. #12
    That I am nobody but myself.
  5. #13
    I feel the need to reaffirm all of it, the whole unhappy territory and all the things loved and unloveable in it, for it is all part of me.
  6. #14
    When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.
  7. #15
    For, like almost everyone else in our country, I started out with my share of optimism. I believed in hard work and progress and action, but now, after first being ‘for’ society and then ‘against’ it, I assign myself no rank or any limit, and such an attitude is very much against the trend of the times.
  8. #16
    After years of trying to adopt the opinions of others I finally rebelled. I am an invisible man.
  1. #17
    I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.
  2. #18
    I remember that I’m invisible and walk softly so as not awake the sleeping ones. Sometimes it is best not to awaken them; there are few things in the world as dangerous as sleepwalkers.
  3. #19
    When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.
  4. #20
    It is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass.
  5. #21
    The world is a possibility if only you’ll discover it.
  6. #22
    I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest. Or when, even as just now I’ve tried to articulate exactly what I felt to be the truth. No one was satisfied.
  7. #23
    They could laugh at him but they couldn’t ignore him.
  8. #24
    America is woven of many strands. I would recognise them and let it so remain. Our fate is to become one, and yet many.
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