Tag: AClockwork Orange

The Handmaid's Tale

13 Quotes from Dystopian Novels to Get You Fired Up

For as long as we have been granted freedoms, there have been people fighting to take those freedoms away; this is the most human of cycles. There has never been (and will likely never be, at least not right now) a time when people haven’t had to stand up against the systemic and societal oppression they’ve been forced to deal with everyday.


We’ve been warned about what can happen when we allow ourselves to stop caring about the state of the world and the other people inhabiting it by authors since the beginning of time; the entire dystopian genre is centered around it. So, don’t allow yourself to grow sedentary but also don’t grow too fearful; for as many greedy, selfish, oppressive, bad figureheads there are in existence, there are way, way more of us who really do care and move with empathy while fighting for a world of genuine equality.


So, take a look at these thirteen quotes from dystopian novels and give yourself that extra push you may need to keep marching forward! 


“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”  Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale



“Every faction conditions it’s members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it’s not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way. But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled. And it means that, no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.” Veronica Roth, Divergent



“Did you ever feel, as though you had something inside you that was only waiting for you to give it a chance to come out? Some sort of extra power that you aren’t using – you know, like all the water that goes down the falls instead of through the turbines?” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World



“If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell, 1984



“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451



“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.” Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange



“Of course they needed to care. It was the meaning of everything.” Lois Lowry, The Giver



“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.” Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale



“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas



“Tell freedom I said hello.” Lauren DeStefano, Wither



“But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can’t last.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451



“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged


“I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running, not staying, but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.” Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave








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Empire Records

9 Amazing Songs Inspired by Literature

Books can change the way you think about things; the right strand of words can strike something up inside of you. It’s not unlikely to feel uneasy, dizzy, overwhelmed, inspired, or full after reading the right essay, poem, story, or novel. (Words are, like, insanely cool.)


So, it’s no wonder so many musicians have drawn inspiration from within the pages of the books they read!


Stand up and jam out to these nine incredibly songs inspired by pieces of literature! 


Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush



An eighteen-year-old Kate Bush wrote this insanely popular classic after finding inspiration within Emily Brontë’s novel of the same name.

Heathcliff, it’s me, I’m Cathy
I’ve come home. I’m so cold
Let me in-a-your window


Charlotte Sometimes by The Cure 



Although not their first foray into slipping literary references into their songs, The Cure held nothing back when they wrote this song based on the Penelope Farmer novel of the same name.

Charlotte sometimes crying for herself
Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself
But it’s always with love
With so much love it looks like
Everything else
Of Charlotte sometimes
So far away
Glass sealed and pretty
Charlotte sometimes


Suffragette City by David Bowie



Bowie never ceased to draw inspiration from his favorite literary works (Diamond Dogs was influenced heavily by George Orwell’s 1984) and for a large part of his Ziggy Stardust phase he drew from Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange

Hey man, Henry, don’t be unkind, go away
Hey man, I can’t take you this time, no way
Hey man, droogie don’t crash here
There’s only room for one and here she comes
Here she comes



Off to the Races by Lana Del Rey



Lana Del Rey has drawn inspiration for much of her work from Nabokov’s Lolita, but the chorus of this song is especially Lolita-esque.

Light of my life, fire in my loins
Be a good baby, do what I want
Light of my life, fire in my loins
Gimme them gold coins
Gimme them coins



This Is Just A Modern Rock Song by Belle & Sebastian



Belle & Sebastian have always been big promoters of book love (i.e. Wrapped Up In Books), see if you can catch all the literary references hidden in this gem!

I’m not as sad as Doestoevsky
I’m not as clever as Mark Twain
I’ll only buy a book for the way it looks
And then I stick it on the shelf again


Tangled Up In Blue by Bob Dylan



Dylan has based much of his works off of F. Scott Fitzgerald and various poets, along with basing much of the lyricism on his Blood on the Tracks albums off of popular short stories by Anton Chekhov.

I lived with them on Montague Street
In a basement down the stairs
There was music in the cafes at night
And revolution in the air
Then he started into dealing with slaves
And something inside of him died
She had to sell everything she owned
And froze up inside


Baobabs by Regina Spektor



This sweet little single by Regina Spektor (and one of my personal favorites) was based off the popular children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince.

You have tamed me
Now you must take me
How am I supposed to be?
I don’t have my thorns now

And I feel them sprouting
They’ll grow right through if I don’t watch it
They’ll grow through even if I watch it
And a sunset couldn’t save me now



Catcher in the Rye by The Dandy Warhols



Listening to The Dandy Warhols is always a good time, and this 2016 song about the infamous J.D. Salinger novel of the same name is no exception!

Stop look around keep your head down and let the words stop it pass on by you
Words that are somewhere in told are cold if it’s not fun then it’s funny to show
With the advice like this what else could you want if a body need a body I know



Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell



Joni Mitchell wrote this heartbreaking classic while reading Saul Bellow’s Henderson and the Rain King.

Moons and Junes and ferries wheels 
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real 
I’ve looked at love that way







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5 Famous Books That Authors Regretted Writing

Life for an author is tough. From receiving multi-million dollar Hollywood film offers to obtaining legendary literary status, being an author isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.


Though these five authors have received widespread attention and, in some cases, critical acclaim, their iconic works have led to deep-seated regret.


1. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx


New Yorker

Image Via Rebekka Dunlap / The New Yorker


It may come as a surprise to some readers that the 2005 Academy Award-winning film Brokeback Mountain starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal was inspired by a short story of the same name written by Annie Proulx. First appearing in The New Yorker in 1997, Proulx’s groundbreaking story offered an honest and touching portrayal of same-sex love during a time in which acceptance was at a low point in America.


Though Proulx’s work was groundbreaking for it’s open representation of LGBT romance, she has animosity towards the fan fiction the story and adaptation have invited. According to Proulx, fans have re-written the ending of the story, which ultimately undermines the entire point of the tragic tale.


“I wish I’d never written the story. It’s just been the cause of hassle and problems and irritation since the film came out. Before the film it was all right,” she said in a 2009 interview with The Paris Review


“[People] can’t bear the way it ends—they just can’t stand it…They can’t understand that the story isn’t about Jack and Ennis. It’s about homophobia; it’s about a social situation; it’s about a place and a particular mindset and morality. They just don’t get it.”


2. Jaws by Peter Benchley



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If you’ve ever seen 1975 Steven Spielberg film Jaws, then I’m guessing your childhood was spent avoiding ocean water. The iconic film was inspired by a 1974 novel of the same name written by Peter Benchley. Both the novel and the film portrayed a killer shark hunting down innocent swimmers.


The shark is eventually conquered by man, yet his death didn’t seem to soothe audiences. Both representations led to intense fear and hatred of Great White Sharks, making them into the ocean’s #1 villain. Benchley later expressed regret for his menacing depiction of killer sharks after witnessing the change in perception of the creature. 


“What I now know, which wasn’t known when I wrote Jaws, is that there is no such thing as a rogue shark which develops a taste for human flesh,” he told the Animal Attack Files in 2000.


“Knowing what I know now,” Benchley reportedly wrote in 2006, shortly before his death. “I could never write that book today. Sharks don’t target human beings, and they certainly don’t hold grudges.”


3. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell



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A widely controversial book, The Anarchist Cookbook is a “How To” guide for making explosives and illegal drugs. It was originally written as a way of protesting the Vietnam War. Powell’s book has been linked to various shootings, including a recent school shooting in Colorado in 2013. Powell has since regretted the book after witnessing its effects and has tried to get it pulled from shelves, ultimately unsuccessfully.  


Powell wrote the story when he was only nineteen-years-old, using military manuals that were made public and kept at the New York Public Library. Though the premise of the book may seem extreme to many, it came during a time in which American males were being drafted into the Vietnam War, a war which many Americans didn’t agree with.


“My motivation at the time was simple; I was being actively pursued by the US military, who seemed single-mindedly determined to send me to fight, and possibly die, in Vietnam. I wanted to publish something that would express my anger. It seems that I succeeded in ways that far exceeded what I imagined possible at the time,” he wrote in The Guardian in 2013.


“Over the years, I have come to understand that the basic premise behind the Cookbook is profoundly flawed.The central idea to the book was that violence is an acceptable means to bring about political change. I no longer agree with this.”


4. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


Lewis Caroll

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, also known as Alice in Wonderland, is undoubtedly a childhood favorite for millions of readers. Written by Lewis Carroll, born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, and published in 1865, Alice in Wonderland initially received negative reviews from critics, but gained popularity later on in the end of the 19th century.


The fantasy novel is perhaps Carroll’s most famous work, though it isn’t his only. While fans have grown to love the story, Carroll grew to despise it. As the story became more popular, Carroll found himself in the public sphere, which, it turns out, he wasn’t a fan of.


“All of that sort of publicity leads to strangers hearing of my real name in connection with the books and to my being pointed out to and stared at by strangers and being treated as a ‘lion,’” Carroll wrote in an 1891 letter to a friend. 


“And I hate all of that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish I had never written any books at all.” 


5. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess 



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A Clockwork Orange is a classic novel which can be found on many lists of the best novels of all time…it’s also often banned. Nevertheless, the novel is widely-known for its portrayal of sex, violence, and young rebels. As with any subject, readers interpreted the novel in varying ways, leading to some regret on Burgess’ end. These interpretations appeared to stem at least partially from Stanley Kubrick’s Academy Award-nominated adaptation.


“The book I am best known for, or only known for, is a novel I am prepared to repudiate,” Burgess wrote in a 1985 biography about D. H. Lawrence. “It became known as the raw material for a film which seemed to glorify sex and violence.”


“The film made it easy for readers of the book to misunderstand what it was about,” he said, “and the misunderstanding will pursue me till I die. I should not have written the book because of this danger of misinterpretation, and the same may be said of Lawrence and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.”



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