Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow Quotes


It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen.

The narrator

The first essay presents the narrator’s point on view on idleness. He admits that he is a lazy person and always has been and because of this he feels qualified to offer advice on how to enjoy idleness fully. In his opinion, if a man is idle because he has nothing else to do, then the idleness he experiences is not enjoyable. In order to really experience the pleasure of doing nothing, a man must waste his time while he was supposed to do something. These stolen moments are sweeter than those for which a person doesn’t fight for.

All is vanity and everybody's vain. Women are terribly vain. So are men—more so, if possible. So are children, particularly children.

The narrator

The narrator shares with the reader the idea that all humans are vain. For him, it doesn’t matter what age group a person belongs to, they all are vain and are characterized by pride. Every man and woman was born with the belief that he or she is the center of the universe and everyone around them have to obey to their will. This type vanity is shared by every person, thus becoming a predominant characteristic of human beings.

We are all inclined to adopt a similar standard of merit in our estimate of other people. A good man is a man who is good to us, and a bad man is a man who doesn't do what we want him to.

The narrator

Through this quote, the pattern after which we consider men good is revealed. If those around a person behave in a manner that benefits that person, then those people are considered as being acceptable and good. If a man doesn’t behave in such a manner, then that man is automatically labeled as being unworthy of attention and respect.

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