History isn't like that. History unravels gently, like an old sweater. It has been patched and darned many times, reknitted to suit different people, shoved in a box under the sink of censorship to be cut up for the dusters of propaganda, yet it always - eventually - manages to spring back into its old familar shape. History has a habit of changing the people who think they are changing it. History always has a few tricks up its frayed sleeve. It's been around a long time.
I repeat here what you will find in my first chapter, that the only thing that signifies to you in a book is what it means to you, and if your opinion is at variance with that of everyone else in the world it is of no consequence. Your opinion is valid for you. In matters of art people, especially, I think, in America, are apt to accept willingly from professors and critics a tyranny which in matters of government they would rebel against. But in these questions there is no right and wrong. The relation between the reader and his book is as free and intimate as that between the mystic and his God. Of all forms of snobbishness the literary is perhaps the most detestable, and there is no excuse for the fool who despises his fellow-man because he does not share his opinion of the value of a certain book. Pretence in literary appreciation is odious, and no one should be ashamed if a book that the best critics think highly of means nothing to him. On the other hand it is better not to speak ill of such books if you have not read them.
Death isn't empty like you say it is. Emptiness is life without freedom, Darrow. Emptiness is living chained by fear, fear of loss, of death. I say we break those chains. Break the chains of fear and you break the chains that bind us to the Golds, to the Society. Could you imagine it? Mars could be ours. It could belong to the colonists who slaved here, died here." Her face is easier to see as the night fades through the clear roof. It is alive, on fire. "If you led the others to freedom. The things you could do, Darrow. The things you could make happen." She pauses and I see her eyes are glistening. "It chills me. You have been given so, so much, but you set your sights so low.""You repeat the same damn points," I say bitterly. "You think a dream is worth dying for. I say it isn't. You say it's better to die on your feet. I say it's better to live on our knees.""You're not even listening!" she snaps. "We are machine men with machine minds, machine lives …" "And machine hearts?" I ask. "That's what I am?""Darrow …" "What do you live for?" I ask her suddenly. "Is it for me? Is it for family and love? Or is it just for some dream?""It's not just some dream, Darrow. I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.""I live for you," I say sadly. She kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more.
Knowledge isn't truth. It's just mindless agreement. You agree with me, I agree with someone else - we all have knowledge. We haven't come any closer to the truth. You can never understand anything by agreeing, by making definitions. Only by turning over the possibilities. That's called thinking. If I say "I know", I stop thinking. As long as I keep thinking, I come to understand. That way, I might approach some truth.
Isn't it weird," I said, "the way you remember things, when someone's gone?"What do you mean?"I ate another piece of waffle. "When my dad first died, all I could think about was that day. It's taken me so long to be able to think back to before that, to everything else."Wes was nodding before I even finished. "It's even worse when someone's sick for a long time," he said. "You forget they were ever healthy, ever okay. It's like there was never a time when you weren't waiting for something awful to happen."But there was," I said. "I mean, it's only been in the last few months that I've started remembering all this good stuff, funny stuff about my dad. I can't believe I ever forgot it in the first place."You didn't forget," Wes said, taking a sip of his water. "You just couldn't remember right then. But now you're ready to, so you can."I thought about this as I finished off my waffle.
Loving oneself isn't hard, when you understand who and what 'yourself' is. It has nothing to do with the shape of your face, the size of your eyes, the length of your hair or the quality of your clothes. It's so beyond all of those things and it's what gives life to everything about you. Your own self is such a treasure.