The Results Are In! A Ranking of the Quotes for Last Week’s Poll

I wanted to thank everyone for taking our poll last week. Since we received such a great response, we at the Foreword have decided to make our polls a semi-regular fixture of the site. Now we will look at the ten most popular quotes.


My dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Margaret Mitchell’s famous 1936 novel actually won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. While immensely popular during the time it was published, Gone With the Wind has continued to be read and studied by scholars in the present day. The more well-known “frankly” of this quote was added later by Hollywood.


Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”

It may not be the most social quote, but still expected from J.D. Salinger’s 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye. This novel follows the exploits of everyone’s favorite moody teen, Holden Caulfield, as he relates his feelings of alienation to the reader. This novel is also infamous for being censored in school libraries for decades.


If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail…it takes back bone to lead the life you want.”

True words from Richard Yates. In this 1961 novel, Revolutionary Road, we see this “back bone” tragically asserted in bored couple Frank and April Wheeler. In 2008, this novel was made into an equally depressing film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go….”

This Dr. Seuss book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, makes great gifts for children and for high school graduates (although, slipping a few twenties in the pages is appreciated as well).


How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

A beautiful passage from Anne Frank’s diary. Even decades later, the book and play remain an important addition to the American education system and her story will not be forgotten.


Without our stories we are incomplete.”

This is one of my favorite novels. The 1999 Neil Gaiman novel, Stardust, has some fun with the fantasy genre.


But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

Aldous Huxley’s 1931 look into the distant future with Brave New World. Remember now, if you want to write a paper on Fordism, you have to read the whole book.


Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”

The 2005 novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, follows nine-year-old Oskar as he searches New York City for the source to a key that belonged to his deceased father.


I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”

This optimistic quote is from the famous Herman Melville novel Moby-Dick. Also, this novel contains everything you will ever need to know about mid-nineteenth Century whaling.


I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

The winner! This 1865 children’s novel may have embraced nonsense, but there are some important kernels of truth present in Lewis Carroll’s intelligent writing.

Thanks again, the next poll will come out at the end of next week.