Looking back, I think we were all quite mature, surprisingly responsible. In earlier wars, boys of our age had just gone off to raise hell or enlist or both, but we stayed dutifully at our desks doing tomorrow's homework.
Looking back now across fifteen years I could see with great clarity the fear I had lived in, which must mean that in the interval I had succeeded in a very important undertaking: I must have made my escape from it.
It is a sad day when one looks back and sees that his largest regrets have become some of the most integral elements of his dreams.
Nothing endures. Not a tree. Not love. Not even death by violence.
Life is fighting. In life, it's the look ahead that counts. We are all born equally far from the sun. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love.
the scornful force of his tone turned the word into a curse
As I walked briskly out the road the wind knifed at my face, but this sun caressed the back of my neck.
It was hard to remember in the heavy and sensual clarity of these mornings; I forgot whom I hated and who hated me. I wanted to break out crying from stabs of hopeless joy, or intolerable promise, or because these mornings were too full of beauty for me, because I knew of too much hate to be contained in a world like this.
Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him.
Everything has to evolve or else it perishes.
Teenagers today are more free to be themselves and to accept themselves.
This was the tree, and it seemed to me standing there to resemble those men, the giants of your childhood, whom you encounter years later and find that they are not merely smaller in relation to your growth, but they are absolutely smaller, shrunken by age. In this double demotion the old giants have become pygmies while you were looking the other way.
You have to do what you think is the right thing, but just make sure it's the right thing in the long run, and not just for the moment.
So the more things stay the same, the more they change after all.
What I mean is, I love winter, and when you really love something, then it loves you back, in whatever way it has to love.
Sarcasm... the protest of those who are weak.
But I was used to finding something deadly in things that attracted me; there was always something deadly lurking in anything I wanted, anything I loved.
The next major advance in the health of the American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself.
But something held me back. Perhaps I was stopped by that level of feeling, deeper than thought, which contains the truth.
It seemed clear that wars were not made by generations and their special stupidities, but that wars were made instead by something ignorant in the human heart
I felt that I was not, never had been and never would be a living part of this overpoweringly solid and deeply meaningful world around me.
There was no harm in taking aim, even if the target was a dream.
Your war memories will be with you forever, you'll be asked about them thousands of times after the war is over. People will get their respect for you from that-partly from that, don't get me wrong-but if you can say that you were up front where there was some real shooting going on, then that will mean a whole lot to you in years to come.
I did no know everything there was to know about myself, and knew that I did not know it.
Never say you are five feet nine when you are five feet eight and a half" was the first one I encountered. Another was, "Always say some prayers at night because it might turn out that there is a God.
There are special, strange gifted people in the world and they have to be treated with understanding
I knew that part of friendship consisted in accepting a friend's shortcomings, which sometimes included his parents.
I never killed anybody and I never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform; I was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there.
The summer of 1943 at Exeter was as happy a time as I ever had in my life.
Exeter was, I suspect, more crucial in my life than in the lives of most members of my class, and conceivably, than in the lives of almost anyone else who ever attended the school.
The best teaching I ever experienced was at Exeter. Yale was a distinct letdown afterward.
Sarcasm is the protest of the weak.
Peace is indivisible, and the surrounding world confusion found no reflection inside me.
There are simply more young people than there ever were. You get this feeling of strength. Also, large numbers can be a drawback, making it difficult to lose one's anonymity.
Young people in my generation were sort of in lockstep, and it wasn't just the '40s, either. In the '30s and in the '50s it was the same. No one ever dropped out unless he got sick or got kicked out.
My father was in the coal business in West Virginia. Both dad and mother were, however, originally from Massachusetts; New England, to them, meant the place to go if you really wanted an education.
Gene, on the desire to be Finny: "I lost part of myself to him then, and a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first: to become a part of Phineas.
Stranded in this mill town railroad yard while the whole world was converging elsewhere, we seemed to be nothing but children playing among heroic men.
It was demeaning to scrape affection from virtually everyone you encountered. That was immature.
I began to know that each morning reasserted the problems of night before, that sleep suspended all but changed nothing, that you couldn't make yourself over between dawn and dusk.