Coping the quote
30+ quotes from The Cider House Rules by John Irving

Quotes from The Cider House Rules

John Irving ·  973 pages

Rating: (139.7K votes)


“What is hardest to accept about the passage of time is that the people who once mattered the most to us wind up in parentheses.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“Goodnight you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“People only ask questions when they're ready to hear the answers.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“It´s natural to want someone you love to do what you want, or what you think would be good for them, but you have to let everything happen to them. You can't interfere with people you love any more than you're supposed to interfere with people you don't even know. And that's hard, ..., because you often feel like interfering -you want to be the one who makes the plans.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“When time passes, it's the people who knew you whom you want to see; they're the ones you can talk to. When enough time passes, what's it matter what they did to you?”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“These same people who tell us we must defend the lives of the unborn-they are the same people who seem not so interested in defending anyone but themselves after the accident of birth is complete! These same people who profess their love of the unborn's soul-they don't care to make much of a contribution to the poor, they don't care to offer much assistance to the unwanted or the oppressed! How do they justify such a concern for the fetus and such a lack of concern for unwanted and abused children? They condemn others for the accident of conception; they condemn the poor-as if the poor can help being poor. One way the poor could help themselves would be to be in control of the size of their families. I thought that freedom of choice was obviously democratic-was obviously American!”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“… and so he tried to accept the ache in his heart as what Dr. Larch would call the common symptoms of normal life.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“Being afraid you'll look like a coward is the worst reason for doing anything.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“Here is the trap you are in.... And it's not my trap—I haven't trapped you. Because abortions are illegal, women who need and want them have no choice in the matter, and you—because you know how to perform them—have no choice, either. What has been violated here is your freedom of choice, and every woman's freedom of choice, too. If abortion was legal, a woman would have a choice—and so would you. You could feel free not to do it because someone else would. But the way it is, you're trapped. Women are trapped. Women are victims, and so are you.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“How we love to love things for other people; how we love to have other people love things through our eyes.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“And the thing about love," Wally said to Angel, "is that you can’t force anyone. It’s natural to want someone you love to do what you want, or what you think would be good for them, but you have to let everything happen to them. You can’t interfere with people you love any more than you’re supposed interfere with people you don’t even know. And that’s hard,” he added, “because you often feel like interfering - you want to be the one who makes the plans.

“It’s hard to want to protect someone else, and not be able to,” Angel pointed out.

“You can’t protect people, kiddo,” Wally said. “All you can do is love them.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“He had heard her say, so many times, that a society that approved of making abortion illegal was a society that approved of violence against women; that making abortion illegal was simply a sanctimonious, self-righteous form of violence against women- it was just another way of legalizing violence against women, Nurse Caroline would say.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“Being wrong about important things is exhausting.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“It's not right to hurt or deceive someone who's already been hurt and deceived.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“…there was no more safety to be found in love than there was to be found in a virus.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“Here in St. Cloud’s,” Dr. Larch wrote, “ I have been given the choice of playing God or leaving practically everything up to chance. It is my experience that practically everything is left up to chance much of the time; men who believe in good and evil, and who believe that good should win, should watch for those moments when it is possible to play God – we should seize those moments. There won’t be may”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“If pride is a sin ... moral pride is the greatest sin.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“Is it a democratic society that condemns people to the accident of conception? What are we-monkeys? If you expect people to be responsible for their children, you have to give them the right to choose whether or not to have children. What are you people thinking of? You're not only crazy! You're ogres!”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“I think about you more and more, but I don't waste my time - or yours - thinking about who you were before I knew you.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“Children are most impressed with the importance of a moment when they witness a parent breaking the parents' own rule.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“If I had to be anything," he told her, "I'd probably be a socialist, but I don't want to be anything.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“It's natural to want someone you love to do what you want, or what you think would be good for them, but you can't interfere with people you love anymore than you're supposed to interfere with people you don't even know.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“He had in abundance youth’s most dangerous qualities: optimism and relentlessness. He would risk everything he had to fly the plane that could carry the bomb within him.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“Grant us safe lodging, and holy rest,” Mrs. Grogan was saying, “and peace at last.” Amen, thought Wilbur Larch, the Saint of St. Cloud’s, who was seventy-something, and an ether addict, and who felt that he’d come a long way and still had a long way to go.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“Among adults – and among orphans – Wilbur Larch noted that delirious happiness was rare.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“My brain is sending poison to my heart.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“It's because even a good man can't always be right, that we need ... rules.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“The powerful wind swept his hair away from his face; he leaned his chest into the wind, as if he stood on the deck of a ship heading into the wind, slicing through the waves of an ocean he’d not yet seen.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“Almost none of them understood Great Expectations or David Copperfield, anyway. They were not only too young for the Dickensian language, they were also too young to comprehend the usual language of St. Cloud’s. What mattered to Dr. Larch was the idea of reading aloud – it was a successful soporific for the children who didn’t know what they were listening to, and for those few who understood the words and the story, then the evening reading provided them with a way to leave St. Cloud’s in their dreams, in their imaginations.
Dickens was a personal favorite of Dr. Larch; it was no accident, of course, that both Great Expectations and David Copperfield were concerned with orphans. (‘What in the hell else would you read to an orphan?’ Dr. Larch inquired in his journal.)”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


“No one but me ever put a hand on me to feel that baby. No one wanted to put his ear against it and listen...You shouldn't have a baby if there's no one who wants to feel it kick or listen to it move.”
― John Irving, quote from The Cider House Rules


About the author

John Irving
Born place: in Exeter, New Hampshire, The United States
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Popular quotes

“The complaint was the answer. To have heard myself making it was to be answered. Lightly men talk of saying what they mean. Often when he was teaching me to write in Greek the Fox would say, 'Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words.'

A glib saying. When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you'll not talk about the joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”
― C.S. Lewis, quote from Till We Have Faces


“Yet he was a rather nice-looking young man, with crinkly russet eyes and crinkly red-brown hair, not to mention a chin that gave the world assurance of a chin.”
― L.M. Montgomery, quote from The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set


“he wrote a series of guidebooks for people forced to travel on business. Ridiculous, when you thought about it: Macon hated travel.”
― Anne Tyler, quote from The Accidental Tourist


“No, no—there are depths, depths! The more I go over it, the more I see in it, and the more I see in it, the more I fear. I don’t know what I don’t see—what I don’t fear!”
― Henry James, quote from The Turn of the Screw


“There was a wall. It did not look important. It was built of uncut rocks roughly mortared. An adult could look right over it, and even a child could climb it. Where it crossed the roadway, instead of having a gate it degenerated into mere geometry, a line, an idea of boundary. But the idea was real. It was important. For seven generations there had been nothing in the world more important than that wall.
Like all walls it was ambiguous, two-faced. What was inside it and what was outside it depended upon which side of it you were on.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Dispossessed


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