"The woman ... turned her melancholy tone into a scolding one. She was not very young, and the wrinkles in her face were filled with drops of water which had fallen from her eyes, which, with the yellowness of her complexion, made a figure not unlike a field in the decline of the year, when the harvest is gathered in and a smart shower of rain has filled the furrows with water. Her voice was so shrill that they all jumped into the coach as fast as they could and drove from the door."
"There is the fear that we shan't prove worthy in the eyes of someone who knows us at least as well as we know ourselves. That is the fear of God. And there is the fear of Man--fear that men won't understand us and we shall be cut of from them."
"I was alone with all that could happen. I began to wonder if the Pedersens had a dog, if the Pedersen kid had a dog or cat maybe and where it was if they did and if I'd known its name and whether it'd come if I called. I tried to think of its name as if it was something I'd forgot. I knew I was all muddled up and scared and crazy and I tried to think god damn over and over or what the hell or jesus christ, instead, but it didn't work. All that could happen was alone with me and I was alone with it."
"Life, from beginning to end, is fear. Yes, it is pain, yes, it is desire, but more than anything it is fear; a certain amount rational, an enormous amount irrational. All political cruelties stem from that overwhelming fear. To push back the threatening forces, to offer primitive sacrifices, to give up some in the hope that others will be saved ... that is the power struggle. That is the outsidedness of the poor, the feeble, the infantile. That is the outsidedness of Jews. That is the outsidedness of blacks. That is the outsidedness of women."
"You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever you are? You're chicken. You've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin andsay, "Okay, life's a fact. People do fall in love. People do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness."
"There are two kinds of timidity--timidity of mind, and timidity of the nerves; physical timidity, and moral timidity. Each is independent of the other. The body may be frightened and quake while the mind remains calm and bold, and vice versë. This is the key to many eccentricities of conduct. When both kinds meet in the same man he will be good for nothing all his life."
"Anxiety is not fear, being afraid of this or that definite object, but the uncanny feeling of being afraid of nothing at all. It is precisely Nothingness that makes itself present and felt as the object of our dread."
"At man's core there is a voice that wants him never to give in to fear. But if it is true that in general man cannot give in to fear, at the very least he postpones indefinitely the moment when he will have to confront himself with the object of his fear ... when he will no longer have the assistance of reason as guaranteed by God, or when he will no longer have the assistance of God such as reason guaranteed. It is necessary to recoil, but it is necessary to leap, and perhaps one only recoils in order to leap better."