Middle Class Quotes

Quotes tagged as "middle-class" Showing 1-30 of 52
E.M. Forster
“They had never struggled, and only a struggle twists sentimentality and lust together into love.”
E.M. Forster, Maurice

“When you have no choice, you have no discontent either.”
Vivek Shanbhag, Ghachar Ghochar

George Orwell
“He wondered about the people in houses like those. They would be, for example, small clerks, shop-assistants, commercial travellers, insurance touts, tram conductors. Did they know that they were only puppets dancing when money pulled the strings? You bet they didn’t. And if they did, what would they care? They were too busy being born, being married, begetting, working, dying. It mightn’t be a bad thing, if you could manage it, to feel yourself one of them, one of the ruck of men. Our civilization is founded on greed and fear, but in the lives of common men the greed and fear are mysteriously transmuted into something nobler. The lower-middle-class people in there, behind their lace curtains, with their children and their scraps of furniture and their aspidistras — they lived by the money-code, sure enough, and yet they contrived to keep their decency. The money-code as they interpreted it was not merely cynical and hoggish. They had their standards, their inviolable points of honour. They ‘kept themselves respectable’— kept the aspidistra flying. Besides, they were alive. They were bound up in the bundle of life. They begot children, which is what the saints and the soul-savers never by any chance do.

The aspidistra is the tree of life, he thought suddenly.”
George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistra Flying

أنيس منصور
“أبناء الطبقة الوسطى ، عندهم كل أحلام أبناء الطبقة الأرستقراطية ، وعندهم كل ويلات ومخاوف وعذاب الطبقة الفقيرة”
أنيس منصور, عاشوا في حياتي

“The rich and the poor truly are from different realms: one has adapted to become an expert in material forfeit; the other has forfeited all they are to material, and thus is enslaved, by it.”
Justin K. McFarlane Beau

Barbara Ehrenreich
“This advice comes as a surprise: job searching is not joblessness; it is a job in itself and should be structured to resemble one, right down to the more regrettable features of employment, like having to follow orders--orders which are in this case self-generated.”
Barbara Ehrenreich, Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream

Tapan Raychaudhuri
“জীবনযাত্রার মান নিয়ে মানুষের রুচি এবং সংস্কৃতি বিচার এবং তার ভিত্তিতে পরিবারবিশেষের সামাজিক অবস্থান নির্ণয় (যা সবসময়ই নিজেদের তুলনায় নিম্নস্তরে) মধ্যবিত্ত বাঙালি জীবনের এক করুণ প্রহসন।”
Tapan Raychaudhuri, বাঙালনামা

“The vast majority of Americans, at all coordinates of the economic spectrum, consider themselves middle class; this is a deeply ingrained, distinctly American cognitive dissonance.”
Ellen Cushing

Tim Kreider
“Watching middle-class conservatives vote for politicians who've proudly pledged to screw them and their children over fills me with the same exasperated contempt I feel for rabbits who zigzag wildly back and forth in front of my tires instead of just getting off the goddamn road.”
Tim Kreider, We Learn Nothing

“Silence descended on the house. [....] Amma must have sensed that this was the sort of silence that, left unchallenged, could consume the family from within.”
Vivek Shanbhag, Ghachar Ghochar

W. Somerset Maugham
“... his experience of life in an office had made him determine never to have anything more to do with one ...”
W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“The middle class were invented to give the poor hope; the poor, to make the rich feel special; the rich, to humble the middle class.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Thomas Mann
“We are the bourgeoisie—the third estate, as they call us now—and what we want is a nobility of merit, nothing more. We don't recognize this lazy nobility we now have, we reject our present class hierarchy. We want all men to be free and equal, for no one to be someone else's subject, but for all to be subject to the law. There should be an end of privileges and arbitrary power. Everyone should be treated equally as a child of the state, and just as there are no longer any middlemen between the layman and his God, so each citizen should stand in direct relation to the state. We want freedom of the press, of employment, of commerce. We want all men to compete without any special privileges, and the only crown should be the crown of merit.”
Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family

David Brin
“If facts are inconvenient, well, damn those who live and work with facts.”
David Brin

Saul Bellow
“As the wicked flee when none pursueth, so does the middle-class wrestle when none contendeth. They cried out for freedom, it came down on them in a flood. Nothing remains but a few floating timbers of psychotherapy.”
Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift

J.G. Ballard
“You're a domestic man, David. You feel hundreds of small affections all the time. They haunt every friendly pillow and comfortable chair like household gods. Together they add up to a great love, big enough to ignore this silly man who's hanging around your wife's skirts.”
J.G. Ballard, Millennium People

Quentin R. Bufogle
“I don't mind being a team player. I'm just tired of being the soccer ball.”
Quentin R. Bufogle, Horse Latitudes

Christopher Fowler
“I'm not working class anymore,' he said. 'I'm lower-middle. I use three types of oil in my kitchen. Admittedly one of them is WD-40, but that counts, doesn't it?”
Christopher Fowler

Amit Kalantri
“In general, poor is polite and rich is rude.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

J.G. Ballard
“Remember, David, the middle class have to be kept under control. They understand that, and police themselves. Not with guns and gulags, but with social codes. The right way to have sex, treat your wife, flirt at tennis parties or start an affair. There are unspoken rules we all have to learn.”
J.G. Ballard, Millennium People

Jennifer Worth
“She approached them all without a trace of sentimentality or condescension. The older Docklanders were accustomed to meeting middle-class do-gooders, who deigned to act graciously to inferiors. The Cockneys despised these people, used them for what they could get, and made fun of them behind their backs, but Sister Evangelina had no patronising airs and graces.”
Jennifer Worth

Paul Beatty
“Bemoan being lower-middle-class and colored in a police state that protects only rich white people and movie stars of all races, though I can’t think of any Asian-American ones.”
Paul Beatty, The Sellout

“There must always be a fringe of the experimental in literature--poems bizarre in form and curious in content, stories that overreach for what has not hitherto been put in story form, criticism that mingles a search for new truth with bravado. We should neither scoff at this trial margin nor take it too seriously. Without it, literature becomes inert and complacent. But the everyday person's reading is not, ought not to be, in the margin. He asks for a less experimental diet, and his choice is sound. If authors and publishers would give him more heed they would do wisely. They are afraid of the swarming populace who clamor for vulgar sensation (and will pay only what it is worth), and they are afraid of petulant literati who insist upon sophisticated sensation (and desire complimentary copies). The stout middle class, as in politics and industry, has far less influence than its good sense and its good taste and its ready purse deserve.”
Henry Seidel Canby, Saturday Papers: Essays on Literature from The Literary Review

“It’s time someone said it, average living (read middle-class) is not good enough”
Mark Maish

Munir Moon
“Working income is taxed at a higher rate than the non-working income”
Munir Moon, The Beltway Beast: Stealing from Future Generations and Destroying the Middle Class

Evelyn Waugh
“Impotence and sodomy are socially O.K. but birth control is flagrantly middle-class.”
Evelyn Waugh, Noblesse Oblige: An Enquiry Into the Identifiable Characteristics of the English Aristocracy

William Maxwell
“Elm Street was the dividing line between the two worlds. On either side of this line there were families who had trouble making both ends meet, but those who lived below the intersection didn't bother to conceal it.”
William Maxwell, All the Days and Nights: The Collected Stories

George L. Mosse
“It was a cultural revolution, and was not directed at instituting economic changes. He could thus appeal to old prejudices without threatening the existing economic system. This appealed, above all, to white-collar workers and the small entrepreneurs, as some of the statistics presented in this book will demonstrate. It was their kind of revolution: the ideology would give them a new status, free them from isolation in the industrial society, and give them a purpose in life. But it would not threaten any of their vested interests; indeed it would reinforce their bourgeois predilections toward family...and restore the 'good old values' which had been so sadly dismantled by modernity.”
George L. Mosse, Nazi Culture: Intellectual, Cultural and Social Life in the Third Reich

Charles Murray
“The average Harvard freshman in 1952 would have placed in the bottom 10 percent of the incoming class by 1960.”
Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010

José Ortega y Gasset
“The same thing is happening with the State. Call to mind what the State was at the end of the XVIIIth Century in all European nations. Quite a small affair! Early capitalism and its industrial organisation, in which the new, rationalised technique triumphs for the first time, had brought about a commencement of increase in society. A new social class appeared, greater in numbers and power than the pre-existing: the middle class. This astute middle class possessed one thing, above and before all: talent, practical talent. It knew how to organise and discipline, how to give continuity and consistency to its efforts. In the midst of it, as in an ocean, the “ship of State” sailed its hazardous course. The ship of State is a metaphor re-invented by the bourgeoisie, which felt itself oceanic, omnipotent, pregnant with storms. That ship was, as we said, a very small affair: it had hardly any soldiers, bureaucrats, or money. It had been built in the Middle Ages by a class of men very different from the bourgeois — the nobles, a class admirable for their courage, their gifts of leadership, their sense of responsibility. Without them the nations of Europe would not now be in existence. But with all those virtues of the heart, the nobles were, and always have been, lacking in virtues of the head. Of limited intelligence, sentimental, instinctive, intuitive — in a word, “irrational.” Hence they were unable to develop any technique, a thing which demands rationalisation. They did not invent gunpowder. Incapable of inventing new arms, they allowed the bourgeois, who got it from the East or somewhere else, to utilise gunpowder and automatically to win the battle against the warrior noble, the “caballero,” stupidly covered in iron so that he could hardly move in the fight, and who had never imagined that the eternal secret of warfare consists not so much in the methods of defence as in those of attack, a secret which was to be rediscovered by Napoleon.”
José Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses

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