These essays on literature focus on the study of literary analysis, and highlight classical literary texts.

Other sections of Richardson Studies also have book notes, but these focus on literary non-scientific texts. The world is forgetting about the all sources of knowledge but the laboratory, we must fight to keep alive the schoolmaster of fine literature.



Notes on The Message of the Myth, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell 2

Notes on The First Storytellers, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell 3

Notes on The Hero’s Adventure, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell 5

Notes on Sacrifice and Bliss, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell 7

Notes on Masks of Eternity, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell 9

Notes on Love & The Goddess, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell 10

Analyzing the Cave of Montesinos from Don Quijote. 11

Selected Quotes from Candide (Optimism) by Voltaire. 13

You can find me in the garden: Analysis of Candide by Voltaire. 15

Comparing Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid. 17

Favorite Quotes from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. 19

Favorite Quotes from The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. 19

Favorite Quotes from The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. 20

Favorite Quotes from The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien. 21

Take Home Messages & Quotes from Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. 21

Take Home Messages & Quotes from Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card. 22

Book Notes on Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. 25

Book Notes on Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card. 26










Notes on The Message of the Myth, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell









from series “The Power of Myth” with Bill Moyers – a Winstar Fire Video




-Campbell says don’t be interested in things merely because they are said to be important but get a proper introduction to them and you may find indeed that they are very important.

-myths can help give you the guide signs along the way so you don’t have to figure out everything for yourself.

-the life has to do with meaning. We can find that meaning out. What is the meaning of a flea? It’s just there. That’s it. Your own meaning also is that you are just there. There is a rapture associated with being alive.

-God is a reference to a thing that transcends all other things.

-everything in the field of time is dual: is and isn’t, dead and alive, male and female, good and evil, light and darkness. Things always come in pairs. Put your mind in the middle. Most of us put our minds on the good side, we must realize all realities.

-myths are true in different senses. Our religion is ethical, between right and wrong, for that is the world we live in, a world of opposites. God and man are different. God is eternal man is not. In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve didn’t even know they were different from each other, mere creatures, then they learn there is more to it.

-in some religions in the near east as in the bible Christianity and Islam, is that there is nature, and you are corrupt if you are acting in spontaneity, for nature is corrupt, and you must fight such, this brings us to an entirely different society. The bible shows God is not nature, he is something separate, something higher. Hinduism is a different place without the narrative of the Garden of Eden. They think natural impulses aren’t to be corrected but beautified.

-when you enter an Indian home, you are a visiting deity and you feel that by the way they treat you.

-there is a standard motif of the one forbidden thing like the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. God knows man will eat that fruit, and with the eating of that fruit, man becomes the initiator of his own life, the person in charge of his venture.

-the African legend of the Unumbate is similar to the Genesis creation narrative

-the snake can represent the power of life to throw off death, like how the God can extend life, the snake cuts it short by getting the man to take the forbidden fruit etc.

-it’s a childish idea to think that life should not have been because of its pain, it’s essence and character. Some say that is the case.

-this is our little eternity here and now: this is our current eternity. If you don’t get it here and now, you’ll never get it. This is it. Our participation here in this life, in this world, is how we will participate in eternity.

-all life is sorrowful is the first reality of life is the first Buddhist saying

-one must embrace life the way it is; history is a nightmare from which one must awake; don’t be frightened by it but embrace how it is. Pain is part of therapy. But these things don’t entail that we do nothing for good; we must participate in the game, the wonderful opera (except for that it hurts). This is not a private fight, anyone can get into it. The hero is the one who can participate in it decently without rancor. We can get in the army, or whatever we see how to do good, we join in and do our part to make things better.

-mythology helps you see your life as a poem, and that you are participating in that poem.

-Campbell claims that Christ’s ascension is symbolic not real, that all seeming miracles are mere ideas not realities. He teaches heaven hell and all the gods are within us, as well as all the worlds. This is the Indian way of thinking, that they are magnified dreams, images and body being in conflict with each other. That myth is symbolic manifestation of the dreams of the body, and the desires of the several organs of the body including the brain. (*I believe in the assertion of Christ into a celestial astronomical sphere heaven)

-in the Thomas gospel Christ says who drinks from my mouth becomes as me; this has similarities to the Buddha consciousness.

-when a society loses its myths, it succumbs to disease and destruction; when there is no fixed star, no known horizon, things decay. That is why preachers are begging for old time religion.

-if a person has no myth in his life, all he must do is read the newspaper. Its own idea.

-Campbell says it’s ridiculous to go back to the old-time religion seeing as there are other human values in our world today (*I see this true on some levels, but absolutely false on others).

-is the machine, society, going to crush or help the humanity which is from the heart? Luke’s father Vader had been playing the role of the executive, the system. And under the mask of Vader is an undeveloped man, something of a worm.

-each kind of religion is like a computer software

-the infrastructure of a computer is like a hierarchy of angels working together to do something

-one Chinese legend has a god who sleeps and a lotus flower grows from out of his stomach, that his dream is the universe (*Like the Egyptian depiction of the lotus flower from growing out from under the throne of Osiris, or the analogy of it coming from the throne of Abraham as Joseph Smith teaches, and how Abraham, as a prophet of Jehovah, shows how that is what God is like, Abraham is a type of Jehovah, teaching the world what Jehovah is like.)

-each galaxy in outer space may be like a lotus growing from out of a “Brahma”.

-speaks of a myth wherein the man is going to be a meditator for life but finds out that it is better to go and have a family, and live, thus, in the present, the time that really matters.
















Notes on The First Storytellers, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell







From series “The Power of Myth” with Bill Moyers – a Winstar Fire Video





-the myths are like messages in a bottle from one who has visited those shores before you, and now you are visiting those same shores.

-when you go from one stage of life to another, like retirement etc., you need to create a new life for yourself. Focus on doing life in this life rather than on focusing on what you’ll do in the next life.

-death is where myth originates from: there was something in a person, then that thing leaves them. Where did it go?

-oft killing an animal wasn’t slaughter, but a ritual act honoring how the animal was giving its life voluntarily to you; that the animal was meant for your well-being, that the animal’s spirit would go on existing dispute being killed. This myth serves to wipe out the guilt of the killing, saying you are acting out nature.

-early hunting people oft saw the animal as superior to them, and they oft take home the personality of the animal as we see with the American Indians. The animals played roles in the myths, and people with those traits.

-a shaman was one with magical powers

-Indians called animals, trees, stones, as “thou” rather than “it”. Do that, and you’ll feel a change in psychology entirely. In the newspaper, people defame each other by making them it rather than thou.

-the song of the bird is the expression of its soul; the web of the spider the expression of its beauty; the life of a human it’s expression.

-Indians painted in caves, call them temple caves; a world of spiritual images.

-Cathedrals are oft seen as the mother womb of your spiritual life, where all the images are spiritual

-the Indian caves have animals depicted in them, but the picture is secondary in importance to the meanings of the images; it’s the place that’s like a womb, the place from which life comes; the world with the sun shining is secondary to the world compared to the whom of the earth where the life begins and originates. It was said that inside the earth was the womb land from which the animals, or the deities, came. There in the caves the boys would learn to be not boys but men. It’s was where the boys would be through the rites of initiation where they became no longer the mother’s son, but the father’s son. These Indian rites continue today in places like Australia.

-a ritual is the enactment of a myth, participating in a ritual is participating in the enactment of a myth

-the Indians would take the teeth out of a boy, etc., to try and make the boy go through a psychological change of becoming a new person, going from a boy to a man. Now the Catholic priest slaps the incite and that’s it. As for the girl, she goes from a girl to a woman with her first menstruation. It happens by nature. Her initiation ceremony is usually to sit there and consider what has happened to her. When a girl becomes a woman, she becomes a vehicle of life, identical with the gods. The boy doesn’t get this by nature but must become a servant of something greater than himself, to society, while a woman is to herself.

-if you want a society without any rituals, read the New York Times. It has young men who don’t know how to behave. They behave like barbarians, belonging to nothing. Even in the catholic church, they have translated the language from the Latin, which takes you from your place, and into English where it’s homely and cozy. They’ve forgotten the function of a ritual: to pitch you out! Not to wrap you back in where you have been all the time!

-James Joyce “The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man” shows what it’s like to grow up and become a man. the artists are the myth makers of our day.

-the Shamans were the equivalent to our modern-day poets; they had an immense psychological experience and hence live in the spiritual realm. They experience dying and coming back to life, and deep dreams, or mystical encounters in the woods. They are persons who go from the normal world into that of the gifted. A priest is a functionary of a social sort, to carry on the ritual about a deity who preexisted him. A shaman rather teaches of his experience not a social ordination and appoints himself rather than being appointed.

-the woman is life, and the man the servant of life. With the indigenous tribes, the woman orchestrate the dance, and the men act out the dance.

-the tribes also do meditations of out of body experiences to reach ‘the other mind’ (*Jehovah doesn’t ask such of us but outlaws such. The experience he offers is more intelligible and logical and understandable and tangible.)

-Book “Black Alp Speaks”

-the shaman would be psychoanalysts to help the people going through hard things to retain connection with deity and give spiritual advisement.

-they say the central peak is everywhere, or the center of the universe, axis mundi, around which all revolve on the earth, where stillness is, where perhaps time is not. Jerusalem, Mexico City, Rome, etc., were symbolic of a center.

-Campbell speaks of how each human is a manifestation of the mystery of God









Notes on The Hero’s Adventure, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell



From series “The Power of Myth” with Bill Moyers – a Winstar Fire Video


-Wrote the book hero with 2000 faces, and there is a film on this in the BYU media library

-the hero must go through a death and a resurrection, he must be born again and start a new life, the young man a rite of initiation where he leaves childhood and goes to manhood etc.

-like joining the military, you put on a uniform, your old self is dead, you are a new creature

-the hero sacrifices themselves for a reality, for a better cause.

-as people learn to write, they put their society in pictures, they develop heroes

-Moses is hero in his book, he ascends to a mountain and returns

-the Chinese characters have analogies to Christ, you could match them with the Apostles

-Christ has 3 major temptations, economical being offered bread, then political Satan saying you can rule all if you obey me, then the spiritual one where he is tempted to throw himself down showing he is divine but says don’t tempt thy God. The Chinese go through similar 3 trials, lust, fear, and doing what they are told. They are in the wilderness for a time as well.

-all the myths have to do with transformation of consciousness.

-In Star Wars, George Lucas uses classical mythological roles. When Luke must pull his eyes closed and use his consciousness to defend himself, that’s real Japanese stuff.

-Star Wars in the garbage disposal is them being like Jonah in the belly of the whale, which represents the personification of all that is in the unconscious. Water is the unconscious, the person in the water is the dynism in the unconsciousness, which is powerful and dangerous.

-the hero moves from his comfortable life into danger, and he at that point is attacked, where he succeeds or is defeated.

-the brain is to be subject to the heart, or else you go over to the intellectual side, the dark side, like Darth Vader. The brain is a secondary organ that is to be used for HUMAN purposes, rather than serving a system. Resist like Luke Skywalker, the impersonal claims of the intellectual side. If a person not listen to his own heart, he gets off center and becomes schizophrenic, it’s not the life the body is interested in at all. There are many people who have stopped listening to themselves. We commit ourselves to a system and its requirements of our own, our lives are to be like a Maverick, not being willing to submit to things contrary to his personal creed.

-being in the water is like being in the subconscious, where we give ourselves to the dark power or the powers of above. This is common Indian lore.

-it’s psychology, when they find out what’s ticking in them, they get straightened out. This is a similar role of mythology and helps them see what the cores are of their life, and the negative aspects of what’s positive, all these things in their place.

-dragons represent caves where there are heaps of gold and virgins. Psychologically you’re captured in your own dragon cage. The psychologist wakes that dragon, so you can have a larger field of relations.

-the Chinese dragon represents nature

-the real dragon is the one that is in you- your ego- what you love, what you think you can do, what you think you can’t, your aims in life; it may be too small. We deal with it by falling in our place in life. Your work is it if you enjoy your work, or if you are afraid to do what you love, that’s your dragon locking you in when you say things like ‘oh I could never do that’.

-any world is a living world if it’s alive; you can bring to life what you will

-others can help you, but ultimately the ultimate trick must be done by you.

-Chinese speak of nirvana, Jesus speaks of peace. It’s a place in yourself of rest. The athlete has in himself a quiet place, and from there comes his action- same in dance, there is a center that must be held and known. Unless you find this center, you’re torn apart, tension comes. Nirvana isn’t a place like heaven, it’s a psychological state of mind in our present location which comes when you’re not compelled by desire or fear or social commitments, but you hold your center and act from there. It’s the way, but it’s your way too. The Buddha can’t tell you how to do it. The teacher can merely give you a clue of the direction, and the student must find what works for himself.

-the palm tree has a consciousness, it follows the sun in the day sky. Hence there is a plant consciousness. This is consciousness. The vegetable world etc., the whole world in conscious. Scientists are openly speaking of the Gaia principal, the whole planet as a living organism. We are the consciousness of the earth, our eyes its eyes, our voice its voice.

-how discover the consciousness? Meditation where we choose where to direct our efforts. Thinking of money is a level of meditation, which is important, but it can’t communicate spiritual consciousness to our loved ones which we must do.

-when you walk into a cathedral or temple, you leave the economic world and enter the spiritual one. Your consciousness is brought to another level. You leave the temple, and can you keep what you felt in there? You memorize prayers etc. which help you live in the spiritual realm while in the economic one; you learn that the economic realm is the lower manifestation of the real spiritual one.

-in one era, it’s the gothic cathedral tallest, then in later times the princely political centers are the tallest, now in our day, the business buildings are the tallest. You see this in SLC UT, the temple was first built there as tallest, then the city building larger, now the business buildings largest. That is how our society has developed.

-myths and dreams come from the same place, you can’t tell what they are going to be

-Campbell teaches people that if you really want to help people in this world, what you must teach them is how to live in it.



Notes on Sacrifice and Bliss, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell




From series “The Power of Myth” with Bill Moyers – a Winstar Fire Video


-Indians teach that the rivers are our brothers, that the air is precious to them and shares its spirit with the rest. The earth doesn’t belong to man but vice versa, what man does to the web he lives in, he does to himself. The love the earth as a mother it’s newborn.

-to have a sacred place is absolutely necessary for everyone where we have a room or an hour where we don’t think of news friends or debts but consider bringing forth what you are or might me. A place of creation. Use this place and something will happen. For the Indians the whole earth was such a place.

-as you get older, the claims of the environment are so great that you hardly know where you are. You’re always doing this and that, so you stop knowing where you are. Put on music you like or read the book you want to read.

-to one in the forest, being on a mountaintop seeing a horizon is frightening, and the animals looks small as ants since you have no sense of depth.

-the aborigines become a part of their world. Today we are stripping the world of the revelation the earth can give us.

-one myth tells of man killing a bird and hence killing himself by killing his environment

-Jesus uses a similar analogy, saying I am the vine and you are the branches, this connection with each other.

-seeing similar tales across cultures may be because humanity has a similar organ, has similar brains (*Also, God reveals truth from heaven) the hero dying for life to appear again (*this is passed along though time.)

-some aborigines have people killed then them eaten. Also, the Catholics have the sacrament they eat believing it’ the flesh and blood of the deity. (*LDS believe this only symbolic, not that we are eating gods flesh literally at all)

-Jesus on a cross is the fruit on the second tree, the first tree bringing death, he bringing life. The first tree is the tree of exit, where separation occurs, the tree of Jesus is the tree of life, of bringing things back together.

-see also the Buddha sitting under the Wisdom Tree.

-the person’s body is the carrier of the vehicle of life

-death and life are 2 aspects of the same thing: Being and Becoming. The life is being, the death is how we do becoming, or transformation. This is in every myth, they all acknowledge death.

-Jesuits had a boy to be sacrificed, they would sing on the way to the sacrifice, including the sacrificial victim, and the killers were the priests.

-Jesus sang a hymn before the crucifixion we see recorded in the bible.

-you need death to have life and birth

-in some tribes the young man must kill someone to qualify for marriage. When the new child is born in the family, your whole duty is to be caregiver for that new life, that new generation.

-Schopenhauer’s philosophy speaks of how can one love another so much to sacrifice himself for another? It’s extraordinary. The theory of self-preservation vanishes in it. It’s that you and the other person are one. Unity in all life. A metaphysical truth that becomes spontaneously realized for it’s the fount of all truth.

-a guy in the office every day doesn’t get real life experience, but when he rescues someone, or feels some pain, he finds out he is alive, and it hurts, but it’s good to know you are alive.

-marriage is primarily about becoming one spiritually rather than physically though such is a part of it. The physical is the elementary stage, but there is a deeper stage of unity than even that.

-at times people divorce after their child is raised, not understanding that marriage isn’t just about children, it’s about each other, becoming one together, a transcendent unit creating together continuously.

-your heart tells you who to marry, that’s the mystery. Something within you knows this is the one.

-Woody Allen said, “I’m not afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

-the body dies as it gets to where there is more mass than energy.

-you as you know yourself aren’t the final term of your being. You must die to that one way or another, you must become yourself.

-it doesn’t matter if you have accomplishments in life; if you’ve never done anything you want to do in life, it’s all for nothing.

-the wheel of fortune has a person either on the top or the bottom, but the person at the hub of the wheel is who never moves. That’s how marriage is to be, you love them in sickness or in health, you love them because of them, they are your joy no matter what stage they are in in the wheel of fortune.

-a poet is one who has made a lifestyle of being in touch with these type of things; most people get involved with other things economic or political in life;

-as a teacher he interviewed each student for 30 minutes every other day about the things they should be reading and the several topics.

-the joy we find, grab that. You must learn to recognize your own depths. You can be helped by hidden times as you find this track that has been waiting for you and you begin to live it. You begin to see people who are in the field of your bliss as helpful to you.

-he says the waters of eternal bless are where you are following your heart (*I see this is so, but that it grows as we move from one life to the next also).













Notes on Masks of Eternity, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell



From series “The Power of Myth” with Bill Moyers – a Winstar Fire Video



-the reference to God is to something that transcends all

-*the secular world, as we see from Campbell, see God as neither being nor existing, and that none can understand God. That apostate doctrine that has been around ever since the people killed Jesus and his Apostles.

-we emphasize how each individual must be their own reincarnation

-you are god in your deepest identity, one with the transcendent

-he calls the different ways people view masks as different masks they wear

-he calls divinity the realization of wonder and tremendous power, like as we see with nature, something much bigger than humans.

-in the west we consider God as the source of energy, in the east and perhaps antiquity they see God as the vehicle of energy, the manifestation of energy. The source of the energy he says is a total mystery.

-in the east the Gods are less human and more like the powers of nature, representing an energy system, being the vehicle of the energy, not its source as in the west.

-the word religion is from the word religio, the linking back to a familiar source

-the center is an image is all religion, it’s the center from which you come, and the center to which you will return.

-Natalie Curtis about the Indian Circle, her conversation with an Indian chief, speaks of eagle’s nest as a circle.

-Plato speaks of the soul being a circle

-the temporal aspect of the circle is that you start in a place and go back to that place, it’s like God being the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

-the circle is seen often, like going out for a hunt then returning to camp; or the watch or calendar, we celebrate holidays time and again.

-a Mandela is a Chinese picture with a god in the middle, the power source, and manifestations of that around it. (*Same seen in The Pearl of Great Price LDS Scripture, and Egyptian text etc.)

-*Campbell doesn’t believe in a personal god, lest that god reveal himself to you; this isn’t LDS theology, but it expresses the idea that this life is a test, and it takes effort to reach God.

-there are motif’s you find in all of religion and mythology all around the world, such as a spiritual power source, a Savior, a virgin birth, a creation narrative, etc.

-god is the archetype of man, we are created in his image.

-clowns in religion show that the form is just a trick, that the image does not matter. It’s to say, I’m not the ultimate image, I’m transparent to something. Thorough my funny form I’m mocking that, and (*trying to be an idea rather than a face)

-humor is one way of expressing how we people don’t have everything correct, *and how humanity is silly at how much we mess it up sometimes

-a whole new stage of human life opens when one opens the heart. It’s like becoming a human rather than an animal, not merely living for the occasional pleasure.

-you can experience this ultimate mystery either with or without form

-wanting to own object is pornography

-the god who wants your mind open, if your mind is shut can appear terrifying, but if your mind is open you can see this god as benevolent.

-poetry doesn’t shut you off, it opens you. Then you get an epiphany which is a showing through of the essence of god or eternity.

-Schopenhauer says when you look back on your life it seems to have had an order, to have had been orchestrated, that the things that you thought were random occurrences, those turn out to be the main elements of a plot. He considers god orchestrating such, about all influencing the structure of everything else, like a big symphony; it’s like life is a dream of a man dreaming, and all characters in his dream are dreaming. In India it’s shown as a net of gems which all reflect each other. They get into the excuse of saying you can’t blame anyone for anything (*I don’t believe the part about no one having responsibility).

-Campbell says there is no purpose to life (*I don’t believe that)

-Campbell says follow your dream, that if you just focus on earning money, you’ve lost your life.

-when you’re journeying, and you see your journey is getting longer and longer, you learn that your journey is the destination; this is one way to look at it.

-why cut the grass over and over? It’s for the coming into being.

-The word was made flesh is about how the eternity has a mortal experience (*the text refers to Jesus Christ).

-A-U-M chant of the monks is a cycle of your mouth representing birth being and completion at the closing of the mouth with the M.









Notes on Love & The Goddess, Documentary Featuring Joseph Campbell



From series “The Power of Myth” with Bill Moyers – a Winstar Fire Video


-love is perfect kindness

-love is seeing your soul’s counterpart in the other person

-traditional marriages are arranged by the family, there is much family love. Today there is still this often. In the middle ages this is what the Catholic church sanctioned. So, person to person love was considered adultery by them.

-any idea of life bliss should be chosen with the idea that no one can frighten me away from this thing.

-love sick is the kind the doctor cannot heal

-the heart, opening to another person, is what distinguishes mankind from animals.

-much insight into life comes from experiencing it for yourself, trusting your feelings, having your own experience rather than word of mouth.

-Paul speaks of love enduring all things; love knows no pain.

-*Campbell has many ideas I don’t agree with, not in accord with the Restored Gospel.

-the main message of Christianity is legitimate love for all people.

-he learned religion from monks who felt no evil toward people who had committed mass murder on their people.

-the most sophisticated interpretation of why Christ had to be crucified was for Atonement, at-one-ment, to make us one with God; the injured one becomes the Savior, it’s the suffering that evokes the compassion of the human heart. By contemplating this mystery you’re contemplating the true meaning of life.

-life is the burning point of love, since life is sorrowful, the more love the more pain that it will bring.

-there used to be an idea of the golden age of the goddess, where women were looked upon with great esteem, but ideas of men being more important choked that out, but it’s coming back perhaps.

-*Campbell claims that all religions don’t claim a physical location of an extra-terrestrial heaven on some planet somewhere, but not so with the LDS.

-in Egypt and other places, often it’s the goddess who is the dominant one

-the Hebrews calls the Canaanite Goddess an abomination whereas with the Greeks Zeus marries a lady (*some things are too sacred perhaps to speak of. But we do have some information about Heavenly Mother, the Goddess in the restored gospel, we believe this perhaps more literally and fervently than any other people. We merely don’t like mockeries of Her, she is so sacred we speak of her seldomly)

-*Campbell demeans the virgin birth of Christ. I appreciate some of what he has to say, not all.

-points out that oft we think too much of Jesus dying, but we could spend more time thinking about how we should be going through something similar; something of being born again yourself.

-Paul speaks of the former mythologies of death and rising now being incarnate by our Savior; that which was only talked about is now reality.

-the celebration of the rising of Christ happens in the solstice, when the days begin to be longer.

-in the ying-yang sign there is a light spot on the dark one and a dark spot on the light one, that is how they relate to each other.

-just because you die doesn’t mean your character changes

-*the inner reaches of outer space by Joseph Campbell another book he published, another run of the mill big bang theory book it looks like, though it may have some good insight about humans going on to become organizers of the heavens






Analyzing the Cave of Montesinos from Don Quijote

Quijote’s inner self he sees himself as something very different than an old commoner who, yet intellectual and likes to read, is just a man like the rest of us. The encouragement from seeing his beloved yet enchanted Dulcenia del Toboso there helps him to renew his journey, so he can go on and continue to change the public feelings on expressing one’s inner self, ones dreams and convictions to the utmost. Quijote can, in a very real sense (since it forms his and others’ behavior), to change his destiny by small and insignificant things, like 30 minutes in a cave. It was much more than a cave to him though, just like how everything else in his poverty-stricken low-class life. He had to make do with what he had to create his ideal reality, and the ideal reality for the rest of humankind.

So, the immaculate detail we read of in the episode of the cave of Montesinos is just as necessary as all the other detail we hear of in the tale on The Knight of the Sorry Fact who becomes the Knight of the Lions. Detail, when you have so little adventure to whorl with in the reality that you have been given, makes all the difference. Palace halls, divine callings from a mysterious enchanted being, these all go to confirm to Quixote the importance of his mission and renewed his confidence in it. He had renewed confidence in part 2 vs part 1 to begin with, deciding to leave his home yet again besides the petitions of his caring niece and maid. Like Virgil’s Aeneid in something of a decent to Hades, Quixote relished the opportunity to have a rebirth experience, rising out of the cave like a birth canal or a tomb. Quixote had to have sources of strength so he could be one for his people, first of all for his squire Sancho Panza, whom he had to reassure constantly that his island awaited him, and that he need not doubt the many requirements of chivalry as being entirely necessary in every case, be it attacking sheep, windmills, these giants and armies, or whether it be demanding involvement in the releasing of a boy being whipped, or swiftly getting princess M. who turns out to be Dorotea, getting rid of all the giants in his way in whatever from he saw them, wine skins of what have you.

There is always Quixote telling Sancho promise of reward so great that he should not ever spend his time asking about how great the reward will be (isn’t that how the gospel of Christ operates to a point? Or at least should operate if we live it?).

Panza’s desires for rewards turn from islands to a more blessed pleasant existence from time to time, but Quixote revives Sancho constantly, and Sancho takes courage at the words of this dedicated man living the lives of the knights and realms of his books, seeing those as the only path toward a good society.

One may consider the need to defend into the pit a peas of Quijote’s dedication, seeing we could say, to defend into every possibility for adventure. The essence of a Knight errant is that he is something of a “yes-man”, taking upon him nearly every adventure so long as he could justify it (so long as it was just).

Quixote was unconquerable and laughed at the prospect of being put under arrest for the deliverance of criminals. Quijote’s method was that he was so important, being on his quest for peace on earth, especially the sake of his dearly beloved beautiful to him although extremely unacquainted Dulcenia del Toboso, as Knights errant do. He must go into that cave for his fame now growing, he becomes even more brave and developed finding out his story has been published, and although detailed it is yet with some discrepancies he would say of its completeness, he was still proud to be going down with the heroes in being in a book of chivalry. Quixote although still insane, begins to be seen in part 2 how society is being to imitate him, and he must carry on doing every civic deed he is blessed with the opportunity of partaking of. The magic is still very alive to Quixote even when he recognizes the knight of the woods and mirrors to be Samson, the college student, it was a mere enchantment to show that he was to have mercy on this fellow and let him live.

Quijote has enemies and friends but he goes on in his adventures and be it going in a cave on sleeping in the woods when a bed at an inn is offered him at time to time, he must act congruent to a Knight because he is one. At least he is set on service rather than trivial matters like the inn keeper so concerned about his dues on strange occasions like dealing with lunatics like Panza and Quijote. The cave descent is important as all Quijote’s extravaganzas, and out of loyalty, for certainly no money was coming in, nor a whole rib uncracked remained in his stomach for that matter, Panza followed Quijote as his traditional Knight Squire, and his wife even allowed him to go.

Quijote’s errands were strange, all of them, but the important fact was that he was doing them, not so much that he was successful in every case (he usually doesn’t get the outcome he expected). By doing what he says to do, Quijote reunited the eternal lovers Leona and D. as well as the revived lovers Don Fernando and Dorotea. We see Quijote does a lot of good even when he doesn’t realize it. Since Quijote decided to be a Knight errant and go on every feasible quest like into the cave, he set up the stage for things to happen. Were the priest and the barber sitting around doing their normal tasks, the deranged forsaken wilderness bound lovers would have remained that way and perished by depression and grief comp rending on their souls day by day as that was the consuming thought of their conscience and their first story to tell anyone who met them. Quijote’s cave dive is symbolic of great things happening by following your dreams. The vision he received there , we have no reason to dispute he did receive it since he is the only witness of his conscience, save it were the short duration of time he spent there- time means nothing to Quijote, this shows that we create our own reality and build with what we have to give us the motivation to do as we see right and true. Quijote had seen, in his mind, through his books, 100’s upon thousands of warrior Knight errants who made their name known this by sword rather than by pen, and he knew in himself that he could revive chivalry and a society with Knights at its core defense and virtue, a revived symbol of a character and force that stops not at their own experience to do right, and laughs at opposition. Sancho, never having had seen Dulcenia del Toboso, randomly picked who was available to be she when they were in Toboso for Quijote. Seeing her appearance different Quijote fell back on truly wicked enchantment, which so often played part in the mysteries of his journeys, attributing her altered appearance to mystery or magic. Quijote was fine to begin with about the pact that compared to other women, a commoner would not think Dulcenia beautiful, but this didn’t matter to Quijote, what she steer for in his mind made Quijote admire her as much as anyone ever adored anyone, this he explained to Sancho when Sancho thought she was not ugh to look at having known her from town.

It’s a long dark descent into the cave, where revelation comes, where we all need go to get our eternal bearings but ascend we must. We think it take s longer than it does to go through these type things, because we are experiencing the full weight of them in detain, and they are the world to us, we are so sure that this absolutely must be where we are supposed to be, loving the adventure of it. Be it in a dark cold difficult cave, it beats sitting at home and watching life go by. Who them is willing and bold enough to ascent their caves, and who will believe virtue? (For Quijote spoke virtue, and none believed him. None were willing to leave their riches for the master).










Selected Quotes from Candide (Optimism) by Voltaire



“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“You’re a bitter man,” said Candide.
That’s because I’ve lived,” said Martin.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“Let us cultivate our garden.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“But for what purpose was the earth formed?” asked Candide. “To drive us mad,” replied Martin.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“I should like to know which is worse: to be ravished a hundred times by pirates, and have a buttock cut off, and run the gauntlet of the Bulgarians, and be flogged and hanged in an auto-da-fe, and be dissected, and have to row in a galley — in short, to undergo all the miseries we have each of us suffered — or simply to sit here and do nothing?’
That is a hard question,’ said Candide.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“Our labour preserves us from three great evils — weariness, vice, and want.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“She blushed and so did he. She greeted him in a faltering voice, and he spoke to her without knowing what he was saying.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“When a man is in love, jealous, and just whipped by the Inquisition, he is no longer himself.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“In every province, the chief occupations, in order of importance, are lovemaking, malicious gossip, and talking nonsense.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“Martin in particular concluded that man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, or in the lethargy of boredom.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“And ask each passenger to tell his story, and if there is one of them all who has not cursed his existence many times, and said to himself over and over again that he was the most miserable of men, I give you permission to throw me head-first into the sea.”
― Voltaire, Candide: or, Optimism

“I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?”
― Voltaire, Candide: or, Optimism

“But there must be some pleasure in condemning everything–in perceiving faults where others think they see beauties.’
‘You mean there is pleasure in having no pleasure.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“All men are by nature free; you have therefore an undoubted liberty to depart whenever you please, but will have many and great difficulties to encounter in passing the frontiers.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“Cela est bien, repondit Candide, mais il faut cultiver notre jardin.”
― Voltaire, Candide

“Even in those cities which seem to enjoy the blessings of peace, and where the arts flourish, the inhabitants are devoured by envy, cares and anxieties, which are greater plagues than any experienced in a town when it is under siege.”
― Voltaire, Candide







You can find me in the garden: Analysis of Candide by Voltaire


This essay is divided into 2 sections: The Pococurante Episode and Cultivating Our Gardens. Candide is a social critique satirical book.


Pococurante Episode:


The Pococurante episode draws much from its name- Pococurante in French means someone who attains or possesses. The character Pococurante had it all. The episode illustrates how that’s not the solution.

Candide had seasons of begging for his bread, like when he first left his boyhood “best of castles” castle, and the Bulgarian men let him eat with them, but he said no, not having money even to sup. They insisted, and Candide ate. Candide carried his optimism at this time, saying that all that happened was for the best. Candide eventually lets his pursuit of Cunegonde be a driving factor of his life, and he comes upon much evil and beatings along the way, but when he gets to El Dorado and receives lots of money, he becomes a weaker character. He begins to try to buy everyone out, trying to be a hero how he deemed it in his childish optimistic mind. Pococurante, like those who get money from Candide, the slaves etc., don’t get happiness from their money. Voltaire was satirical in his writing to attack bad social systems of his day, be they the aristocrats like he (a very bold denunciation) or abusers of women (as we see how the prostitutes don’t like their livelihood they hate it, as Paquette, whose name means gift in French, but they do it to stay alive although in mystery), or church leaders, or governors. Voltaire was a defender of good, he showed the lifestyle of Pococurante was bound for failure, that not dozens of the best thinkers works would please him. Even Martin, the ultra-pessimist old man of the book things to find some good in Pococurante’s immaculate library, but Pococurante insists that it’s all rubbish, not more than a handful of it all worth any time. At least Martin, the pessimist, made himself to be patient in the farm cottage where the narrative ends, seeing that he would be ill-treated, bad off anywhere he goes. At least he wasn’t so much of a problem.

In Voltaire’s day, the Catholic church extracted money from its people (of whom these were many as forced by the crusaders), and in other ways were very abusive to the people. They were killed for having a copy of the bible or wanting one. It was a time where “Great Inquisitions” were happening, where to do something about it were killed. The church leader “The Grand Inquisitor” so named in the text was a personification of this. Be it paying off sins, or paying friars for sermons, as we see in the last few chapters of the text, the church was largely built on money. We see it failed in being good for its people and did more harm than good. The friar in the text gives sermons for money, but at the end of the day, he, as he says all his comrades, go home gloomy as the rest, and we find this friar looking for happiness with the prostitute Paquette. So, Voltaire has this other character, Jean the Anabaptist, who isn’t so “religious” formally as he is just a good person, always acting for others. Ana-Baptist in the 18th century when this was written could mean anti, or, that he was obviously not the stereotypical religion person of his day, yet he was more “religious” than the best of them. Voltaire fearlessly teaches the renunciation of pride and riches, showing repeatedly the unhappiness from them. Candide loses his El Dorado treasures when the robber voyage man’s ship sinks, and we find our hero wanting him dead, and rejoicing in his sunken ship almost as he would rejoice in love, being with Cunegonde. He is addicted to riches, rejoicing when one red sheep laden with money comes back to him, thinking that he is on top again, deeming that the world is good because it gave him money, and he is so audacious as to link that with the hope for true love, that he would have chance at finding “his” beloved Cunegonde. Candide Martin Dr. Pangloss Paquette Cunegonde and the old lady nestle in a cottage home choosing farming as their intent Turkish neighbor with merely 20 acres of farmland he tills himself with his household to avoid the 3 evils highlighted in the text (weariness, vice, and want), reasoning that maybe there they would find more than what Pococurante, the owner of the pleasure that comes from being pleased by nothing, had found, or than the glory-ease-loving x-kings they supped with who were dethroned by war who went around seeking special treatment and to live in the past where they merely were popular and at ease. Candide is ready to renounce the world and all its madness he has seen in it and go to his Cunegonde dispute her new ugliness to honor his honor and manhood. To cling to the only virtue he ever knew, however small it was.


Cultivating Our Gardens:


Candide saying they need to work and maintain their gardens was the solidity he had in his life that kept him going. Finally he had a homestead away from the Bulgarian army with 30 thousands being killed in their wars for not enough reason, or from his make out to be perfect home castle where he was hidden from the world and learned virtually nothing, and worse, did virtually no work, making him be weak, and making him take a long many whippings beatings from Bulgarians etc., loses of riches from robber sailors and demanding slave owners he bought the slaves Dr. Pangloss and his brother in law loses of his love Cunegonde from expulsion from the castle from holding her to her being a sex slave dish washer depressed barely surviving victim of prince in Constantinople, or her having minimal faithfulness, marrying merely to satisfy her temporal want of money.

Candide had been raked over the coals by experience, and pessimist friend Martin that his philosophy that he held so dear in his heart of all-encompassing-optimism, seeing all was as it ought to be and was for the best, Candide saw slowly to renounce that, all though he still clung to happy moments like reuniting with Dr. Pangloss and seeing the Turkish farmer be simple and happy, and seeing Cunegonde dispute her barbarity and unattractiveness.

Candide in effect is done philosophizing, he has taken to the method of the only stable truly happy individual he knows, the Turkish farmer. He doesn’t want to get mixed up in more war and loose more friends and must masquerade all over the world again. He says to Pangloss, at Panglosses suggestion, at all whit’s end, that rather than play with the idea of all things they had been through having worked to their good, Pangloss feeding his atrophic desire to be a professor of a distinguished German college, oppressed with philosophy and thinking and talking to be at peace in his life, set on the come what will and just let it be that way- attitude, being grateful for the seeming “cheerios” they were munching on, these tiny gratuities they were not at ease to enjoy, Candide doesn’t but all this now! Now perhaps we didn’t act in the prime way, and maybe that’s why we’re out here in this forsaken place eating these forsaken victuals. No, Pangloss, let’s just get humble before we fall on our ignorant faces again and go start digging our way out of this whole. Let’s not let fate wash over us lest this garden we’re enjoying the small ravishes of even be overtaken by weeds, and we lose everything else of the everything we’ve lost. Pangloss, our eating these things right now, lives how they are now, have NOTHING TO DO with the pirates, the wrappings, the misfortunes, the cannon ball experiences we’ve walked into. The world is crazy Pangloss, and I want to just stay here and take care of the one thing I have liberty over. It seems these basic human rights you’ve preached to me all through life aren’t so basic, and I’m not dancing in that circle any longer. You’d do well yourself to set those books down a moment or two and till this garden, lest it gets over run and we’re back on the luck shop riches poverty chase lifestyle, and I’m tired of that! El Dorado was a hoax, they wouldn’t admit us there anyway we need to work what we’ve got and see if we can’t blunder it away too. Depending on others to survive is as good as putting your cheeks in the butcher’s hands and shaking on the salt. I’m all for philosophy and optimism Pangloss, but not what you’re used to. One too many harlots Pangloss, one too many free tickets and quick fixes. You can find me in the garden, and maybe then we’ll talk.







Comparing Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid

I will show how the Odyssey was positive and encouraging for people like the Aeneid also, and importance of God’s and man’s wills. Homer shows men act and Gods help, Virgil shows Gods act and men are pawns, but in a good way. Both are Hero’s to look up to- Aeneas commanded ship men to stay true on scary waters to Italy, Odysseus helped the men stay strong when approaching the island where Polythenia the one eyed moister lived.

They both like humans and revere the God’s- Aeneas helped his dad get away from their homeland in Troy so he would be safe even carrying him on his back (and wept for the welfare of others). He acted that way to the Gods also, trying to pay due respect to their wishes, and believed that as he did that he would be protected- He was – Odysseus on the other hand would pray to Gods for aid but go do his own thing. Odysseus and Penelope were very shrewd, whereas Aeneas and his Dita were very opposite, he is stern, she is kind.

Aeneas was self-centered- political movement over family- they both united with then left women on their journeys, but Homers moves were to help him get to his family, and those of Aeneas were to establish a political kingdom, Rome. There is some sympathy for Aeneas however, seeing as how his homeland was taken over.

Both Homer and Virgil play up the character to be the role model for human beings, and better than anyone ever known up to that point.

Odysseus was more like a spy, having to often wait to reveal his identity like when he was with Cyclops, and waited until he was rowing softly away before he deemed it safe to reveal his identity and also in Ithaca making sure all was as how to best do things based on his intellect that might otherwise fail whereas Aeneas could show up and off the cuff take over and win every time.

Odysseus was a more solitaire journeyer, not so much support, being cast from one island to the next we hear little of his companions although he does have some at times. Aeneas we find in more battle situations, and we only hear of Odysseus’ past battle experiences. They’re similar because the main victory of the battle over Troy was given to Odysseus, and the main person who founded Rome was Aeneas. There are enemies to these heroes. It seems that for Odysseus, the God Zeus is only looking out for him because he was a just fellow, and the Gods value justice and just people getting, by blessing the just persons, the Gods are making a good investment so to say, getting something back for what they put in -but Aeneas seems to be secure in his destiny (from the readers point of view maybe not from the point of view of Aeneas) because he is the one whose fate is elected to start Rome. The Gods seem to like him a lot more than Odysseus since Odysseus got tossed around the sea more and had more one on one battles than Aeneas – aka more life-threatening encounters. Aeneas mom is a God named Venus, naturally he would have a lot of help. It’s to say he is part God himself, whereas Odysseus was only aided y Pallus Athena to look like a God sometimes when he needed to persuade people. We see Odysseus as being as it were, a lot more proved to real human infirmities dispute his zeal- like when he found himself on the island of the Athenians he was so beat up he looked like driftwood- even left naked. Also, Odysseus, who usually held his composure, yelled out his true identity when sailing away from Polythenus to irritate him. Odysseus was very good at wowing people- all the girls wanted to have him, from Athena, to Calypso, to the daughter of the king of the Athenians and so on. Odysseus had to earn his respect with people who didn’t know him whereas Aeneas seemed to have a self-inherent respect.

There is an enemy to Odysseus namely the suiters for his wife Penelope waiting back at home where he was the king of Ithaca, and Aeneas had a foe as well that he ended up killing, but it was just one man instead of a myriad of suiters. Odysseus had already helped Ithaca, and wanted to go there again to keep things, especially his nuclear family but also his kingdom there, in order. Aeneas had a different path, he was aging to establish the great mighty God-ordained Rome. He had a lot bigger of a mission to go on to, whereas Odysseus seemed a lot more normal of a person, but oh the way he introduced himself and spoke so dazzlingly to people- like when he begged for the mercy of clothing from the Athenian princess and called her a Goddess, asking her if she was so. It seemed Odysseus earned his favor with Zeus, and Aeneas was just picked to settle Rome etc. because of who his mother was. It seems the Odysseus was a lot more refined of a man because he kept his composure and hardly ever wept except for on one occasion where the Athanasian Islanders were having a festival celebrating the grandeur and losses of Troy. Odysseus seems more independent. Odysseus seemed more family centered that being his main drive (even though he obediently his family for a season out of obedience to the Gods). We hear about how Aeneas was entrusted with the tutelage of a lad at war times, but Odysseus and his son worked very closely together to restore unity and normality in their home against the suitors.

Homer’s Odyssey appeals more to the human side of people because it is a man always on the edge. Virgil’s Aeneid is unique in that it is a telling of a preexisting tale but in a different way, but that the main hero is more unable to fail makes it less applicable to the reader (perhaps the Romans wanted to look better than the Greeks by having a more invaluable hero). It is to say, “Join the strong establishment of the Gods” whereas Homers Odyssey is to say, “Do all you can in your sphere”. Rome and Greece are both noble places on some accounts, but the literature proses that Rome was the best, that it was what had been waiting to happen.

These works were both to show the art of language since they utilized language (Homer in Greek, Virgil in Latin) like no one else did. Both are to teach of what humans do when pushed to their limits, like Dita’s suicide and Penelope’s strange putting off suitors for 20 years awaited her husband’s return. Hence both teach the valor of women being true to whom they fall in love with. Both depict that the best woman type is a strong woman. Dita was a great leader of a warrior people and Penelope was strong and wise enough to trick suitors and not give in to twenty long years of their relentless antagonism (they were after power she had etc.) After Dita’s husband was killed she shut down, as did Penelope when Odysseus was so long gone, but powerful deep hope was shown in both by Penelope awaiting the return of her Odysseus, and Dita in opening her heart again once she had found this new love Aeneas. They both show a woman’s dedication to her husband as being a key trait of their valor.

Both works are extremely religious where God’s and mortals are constantly involved in each other’s affairs. The Gods want the mortals to acknowledge them and let them run the show in The Aeneid, while in the Odyssey it’s more of a dog eat dog situation, but for anyone who is super determined like Odysseus, a Goddess will, like Pallas Athena, help you where you would otherwise fail. Both heroes get helped by The Gods, but in the Aeneid the big picture is displayed- the Gods want a utopia society, so they have one man make it happen. In the Odyssey, it’s like the Gods are letting the mortals figure things out, and helping them as they ask for it, like Odysseus constantly praying, seemingly getting his cunning as a gift from the Gods because he asked for it.









Favorite Quotes from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien



“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit


“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit


“Where there’s life there’s hope.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

“Where did you go to, if I may ask?’ said Thorin to Gandalf as they rode along.
To look ahead,’ said he.
And what brought you back in the nick of time?’
Looking behind,’ said he.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

“Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

“Farewell! O Gandalf! May you ever appear where you are most needed and least expected!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

“It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit






Favorite Quotes from The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien


“Not all those who wander are lost.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“Short cuts make long delays.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring





Favorite Quotes from The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien



“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

“Still, I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales. We’re in one, of course, but I mean: put into words, you know, told by the fireside, or read out of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards. And people will say: “Let’s hear about Frodo and the Ring!” And they will say: “Yes, that’s one of my favourite stories. Frodo was very brave, wasn’t he, dad?” “Yes, my boy, the famousest of the hobbits, and that’s saying a lot.”
‘It’s saying a lot too much,’ said Frodo, and he laughed, a long clear laugh from his heart. Such a sound had not been heard in those places since Sauron came to Middle-earth. To Sam suddenly it seemed as if all the stones were listening and the tall rocks leaning over them. But Frodo did not heed them; he laughed again. ‘Why, Sam,’ he said, ‘to hear you somehow makes me as merry as if the story was already written. But you’ve left out one of the chief characters: Samwise the stouthearted. “I want to hear more about Sam, dad. Why didn’t they put in more of his talk, dad? That’s what I like, it makes me laugh. And Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam, would he, dad?” ‘
‘Now, Mr. Frodo,’ said Sam, ‘you shouldn’t make fun. I was serious.’
‘So was I,’ said Frodo, ‘and so I am.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

“I was talking aloud to myself. A habit of the old: they choose the wisest person present to speak to”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

“Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?’
A man may do both,’ said Aragorn. ‘For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers



Favorite Quotes from The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien


“I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

“What do you fear, lady?” [Aragorn] asked.
“A cage,” [Éowyn] said. “To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

“Come, Mr. Frodo!’ he cried. ‘I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path. One that we all must take.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

“For I am the daughter of Elrond. I shall not go with him when he departs to the Havens: for mine is the choice of Luthien, and as she so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King



Take Home Messages & Quotes from Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

A more through list could be made but here are some things to remember:

  1. Push your trainees, push yourself
    2. Be smart
    3. Why > what
    4. THE PRESENT IS THE BATTLE, NOT THE FUTURE. Your life’s ‘ministry’ / ‘impact’ isn’t something to look forward to, it’s happening right now, so give it your best shot every day. Your test will be over before you know it.
    5. Like to win thoroughly
    6. Beware simulated scenarios becoming your reality and beware manipulation
    7. Deceiving someone for the better good will turn them against you.
    8. We can choose to use our talents for good or evil
    9. Spread ideas and they’ll become part of the debate
    10. We have good and evil in our natures; the evil must be fought against continually. To be too soft or too hard is to miss self-mastery and to fail in giving maximum service to your fellows.
    11. Only someone pure in heart will have enough insight & inner compass to win the unbeatable battles
    12. Shun violence
    13. Beware attacking an enemy you know little about, especially in offensive rather than defensive action
    14. Sometimes only isolation can push a person to their best self, the need to make it on their own without help or hope of help


“I think that most of us, anyway, read these stories that we know are not “true” because we’re hungry for another kind of truth: the mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story. Fiction, because it is not about someone who lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about oneself. –From the Introduction”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“There are times when the world is rearranging itself, and at times like that, the right words can change the world.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“An enemy, Ender Wiggin,” whispered the old man. “I am your enemy, the first one you’ve ever had who was smarter than you. There is no teacher but the enemy. Only the enemy will tell you what the enemy is going to do. Only the enemy will ever teach you how to destroy and conquer. Only the enemy shows you where you are weak. Only the enemy tells you where he is strong. And the rules of the game are what you can do to him and what you can stop him from doing to you. I am your enemy from now on. From now on I am your teacher.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“So the whole war is because we can’t talk to each other.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“I need you to be clever, Bean. I need you to think of solutions to problems we haven’t seen yet. I want you to try things that no one has ever tried because they’re absolutely stupid.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“He could see Bonzo’s anger growing hot. Hot anger was bad. Ender’s anger was cold, and he could use it. Bonzo’s was hot, and so it used him. ”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“I will remember this, thought Ender, when I am defeated. To keep dignity, and give honor where it’s due, so that defeat is not disgrace. And I hope I don’t have to do it often.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“The story itself, the true story, is the one that the audience members create in their minds, guided and shaped by my text, but then transformed, elucidated, expanded, edited, and clarified by their own experience, their own desires, their own hopes and fears.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“The story is one that you and I will construct together in your memory. If the story means anything to you at all, then when you remember it afterward, think of it, not as something I created, but rather as something that we made together. ”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

“We’re all trying to decide whether your scores up there are a miracle or a mistake.” “A habit. ”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game




Take Home Messages & Quotes from Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card



  1. Don’t unwittingly participate in bullying; lack of service to someone in need can lead that person to darkness
    2. When you know someone’s story, an unlikely character can be very lovable
    3. Help each other succeed rather than pinning foreigners in a box
    4. SPEAK TO OTHERS IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE, a language they understand. This goes beyond linguistics.
    5. Lies and secrets, unresolved issues, even if they are for trying to protect others, they do more harm than good, and the real healing comes as we speak truth.
    6. When you know what you must do, hurry and do it before you cower away
    7. When an ambassador for peace, speak to your rivalry with respect, and demand respect from them. Do not answer to commands. See them as an equal to yourself, not below, not above.
    8. You can learn from those who you consider inferior to yourself.
    9. People will become what you treat them like
    10. When we learn an unfavorable thing about someone we love which occurred in long past, don’t hate them, forgive them. You loved them before and they still had the sin then, so if you stop loving them now the only thing that’s changed is you.
    11. A different people need their own laws because of how they live
    12. There are 2 ways to be great, the evil way is to destroy anyone who appears superior to you until you have no competition. Some think others must be less for themselves to be great. The good way to power is intelligence & wisdom, lifting the whole with you, for there is plenty of room in space for everyone.
    13. Truth exists in circular paradoxes; like how you don’t know someone till you stop hating them, and you stop hating them once you know them
    14. It’s easy for people to accept the dead since they’re not a threat anymore, but people are prone to reject the living opposition/unknown.
    15. Those who actually care for their children will love and discipline them.
    16. We can face criticism if the person giving it also knows our good side
    17. We lie at funerals; instead we should be honest about who the person was, and their innocent beginnings, the pressures that brought them to where they were. We call out the sin for what it is, not excusing it, but only in being truthful are we empowered and feel peace.


“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one’s life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“When you really know somebody you can’t hate them. Or maybe it’s just that you can’t really know them until you stop hating them.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife’s adultery, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death.
There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine – a Speaker for the Dead – has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I’m going to tell you.
The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. ‘Is there any man here,’ he says to them, ‘who has not desired another man’s wife, another woman’s husband?’
They murmur and say, ‘We all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it.’
The Rabbi says, ‘Then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong.’ He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, ‘Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he’ll know I am his loyal servant.’
So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder.
Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, ‘Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.’
The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. ‘Someday,’ they think, ‘I may be like this woman. And I’ll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated.’
As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman’s head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. ‘Nor am I without sins,’ he says to the people, ‘but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead – and our city with it.’
So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance.
The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation.
So of course, we killed him.
-San Angelo
Letters to an Incipient Heretic”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“Every person is defined by the communities she belongs to.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“He loved her, as you can only love someone who is an echo of yourself at your time of deepest sorrow.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“But when it comes to human beings, the only type of cause that matters is final cause, the purpose. What a person had in mind. Once you understand what people really want, you can’t hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can’t hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“Sickness and healing are in every heart; death and deliverance in every hand.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“The difference between raman and varelse is not in the creature judged, but in the creature judging. When we declare an alien species to be raman, it does not mean that they have passed a threshold of moral maturity. It means that we have.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“It’s the most charming thing about humans. You are all so sure that the lesser animals are bleeding with envy because they didn’t have the good fortune to be born Homo sapiens.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“Maybe she couldn’t know who she was today. Maybe it was enough to know that she was no longer who she was before.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“We’ve devoted our lives to learning about them!” Miro said. Ender stopped. “Not from them.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“Order and disorder’, said the speaker, ‘they each have their beauty.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“Dona Crista laughed a bit. “Oh, Pip, I’d be glad for you to try. But do believe me, my dear friend, touching her heart is like bathing in ice.”
I imagine. I imagine it feels like bathing in ice to the person touching her. But how does it feel to her? Cold as she is, it must surely burn like fire.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“Quim,” she said, “don’t ever try to teach me about good and evil. I’ve been there, and you’ve seen nothing but a map.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“He is dangerous, he is beautiful, I could drown in his understanding.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“You’re cultural supremacists to the core. You’ll perform your Questionable Activities to help out the poor little piggies, but there isn’t a chance in the world you’ll notice when they have something to teach you.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“You understand that the piggies are animals, and you no more condemn them for murdering Libo and Pipo than you condemn a cabra for shewing up capim.”
That’s right,” said Miro.
Ender smiled. “And that’s why you’ll never learn anything from them. Because you think of them as animals.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“A strange thing happened then. The Speaker agreed with her that she had made a mistake that night, and she knew when he said the words that it was true, that his judgment was correct. And yet she felt strangely healed, as if simply saying her mistake were enough to purge some of the pain of it. For the first time, then, she caught a glimpse of what the power of speaking might be. It wasn’t a matter of confession, penance, and absolution, like the priests offered. It was something else entirely. Telling the story of who she was, and then realizing that she was no longer the same person. That she had made a mistake, and the mistake had changed her, and now she would not make the mistake again because she had become someone else, someone less afraid, someone more compassionate.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“The tribe is whatever we believe it is. If we say the tribe is all the Little Ones in the forest, and all the trees, then that is what the tribe is. Even though some of the oldest trees here came from warriors of two different tribes, fallen in battle. We become one tribe because we say we’re one tribe.”
Ender marveled at his mind, this small raman [member of another sentient species]. How few humans were able to grasp this idea, or let it extend beyond the narrow confines of their tribe, their family, their nation.”
― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead








Book Notes on Xenocide by Orson Scott Card




-when someone says something to you that could make you angry, realize they are fragile at that time, and don’t make them think you are not on their side

– just because you can explain life with the biological narrative doesn’t mean there still aren’t heroes, right and wrong, good and evil.

-to be creative you must work on more than 1 project at a time

– “Let me tell you about gods,” said Wiggin. “No matter how smart or strong you are, there’s always somebody smarter or stronger, and when you run into somebody who’s stronger and smarter than anybody, you think, This is a god. This is perfection. But I can promise you that there’s somebody else somewhere else who’ll make your god look like a maggot by comparison. And somebody smarter or stronger or better in some way. So let me tell you what I think about gods. I think a real god is not going to be so scared or angry that he tries to keep other people down. For Congress to genetically alter people to make them smarter and more creative, that could have been a godlike, generous gift. But they were scared, so they hobbled the people of Path. They wanted to stay in control. A real god doesn’t care about control. A real god already has control of everything that needs controlling. Real gods would want to teach you how to be just like them.”

-we existed always and were not created

– Man has free will, he asserts, precisely and only because he has always existed: I think that we are free, and I don’t think it’s just an illusion that we believe in because it has survival value. And I think we’re free because we aren’t just this body, acting out a genetic script. And we aren’t some soul that God created out of nothing. We’re free because we always existed. Right back from the beginning of time, only there was no beginning of time so we existed all along. Nothing ever caused us. We simply are, and we always were. (386)

-Don’t blame your OCD on God.

-The benevolent government organizations may not be so benevolent

-One bad act by a person doesn’t represent the larger group. Punish the actor, not his entire ‘species’.

-In mobs, people do things they soon regret.

-“Valentine had long ago observed that in a society that expected chastity and fidelity, like Lusitania, the adolescents who controlled and channeled their youthful passions were the ones who grew up to be both strong and civilized. Adolescents in such a community who were either too weak to control themselves or too contemptuous of society’s norms to try usually ended up being either sheep or wolves- either mindless members of the herd or predators who took what they could and gave nothing.”

-If words are a weapon I am going to give them an arsenal.

-The human brain like a computer could only receive data at certain speeds, go too slow and you lose them.

-There is more to us than our bodies; something which existed before our bodies entered into our bodies, and identified the body as itself. The thing which entered our bodies at the time of our birth has always existed.

-Concerning negative feelings: Such are natural feelings they come and go as quickly, only those who make them a way of life are to be condemned for them.

-Olihado was a good father. He worked for the sake of home. Home wasn’t a side project, it was his main project.











Book Notes on Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card




-Ender was never very happy, he was helping, he worried about things, he felt it his duty to help, seek the quote says it better

– loving enough to inflict suffering when it was needed

-The man who has risked his life knows careers are useless. The man who won’t risk his career has a useless life.

-Everyone leaves. Everyone dies. What matters is what you build together before they’re gone.

-Not all iuas (editor’s note: basically meaning intelligences) became great, they could not or would not dare to; they let others control them, always fitting in, being a fringe of a great thing

-The mother tree loved their independence as much as their need. (editor’s note: parents love helping their children, they love even more seeing their children become independent like themselves)

-Sometimes you let go of what you really want for the sake of duty.

– Just because someone’s god is fake does not mean that all gods are fake.

-Ender was bowed down under the weight of burden.

-Ender experienced pain too deep to feel at present, which would tear at him for years to come.

-Create based on ideas. We all have theories, & we live to prove that what we believe is real. We are not rational, we get information which we don’t act on, and we take leaps.

-Even gentle people sometimes conclude that the decision not to kill is a decision to die.

-Their subconscious had already chosen, and their conscious was trying to figure out what the subconscious had already determined.