"Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords: but, like all other pleasures immoderately enjoyed, the excesses of hope must be expiated by pain; and expectations improperly indulged must end in disappointment."
"There was a look in the eyes of the Brangwens as if they were expecting something unknown, about which they were eager. They had that air of readiness for what would come to them, a kind of surety, an expectancy, the look of an inheritor."
"Hope is a bad thing. It means that you are not what you want to be. It means that part of you is dead, if not all of you. It meansthat you entertain illusions. It's a sort of spiritual clap, I should say."
"Our thoughts are always elsewhere; we are stayed and supported by the hope for a better life, or by the hope that our children will turn out well, or that our name will be famous in the future, or that we shall escape the evils of this life, or that vengeance threatens those who are the cause of our death."
"We hold on to hopes for next year every year in western Dakota: hoping that droughts will end; hoping that our crops won't be hailed out in the few rainstorms that come; hoping that it won't be too windy on the day we harvest, blowing away five bushels an acre; hoping ... that if we get a fair crop, we'll be able to get a fair price for it. Sometimes survival is the only blessing that the terrifying angel of the Plains bestows."
"The Plains are not forgiving. Anything that is shallow--the easy optimism of a homesteader; the false hope that denies geography,climate, history; the tree whose roots don't reach ground water--will dry up and blow away."