Of all the wastes of human ignorance perhaps the most extravagant and costly to human growth has been the waste of the distinctive powers of womanhood after the child-bearing age.
A multitude of causes unknown to former times are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and unfitting it for all voluntary exertion to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor.
There is, in our nature, a disposition to indulgence, a secret desire to escape from labor, which, unless hourly combated, will overcome and destroy the best faculties of our minds and paralyze our most useful powers.
Perhaps I am naive, but I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents.
Any government, that is its own judge of, and determines authoritatively for the people, what are its own powers over the people, is an absolute government of course. It has all the powers that it chooses to exercise. There is no other or at least no more accurate definition of a despotism than this.
The 1890s was an intensely patriotic decade for Americans. It was a time of neo-imperialism, when the European powers and the United States were establishing their flags around the globe.
There will be a meeting of the great powers who will disagree, and the next noise we hear will be the screeching of elevators going up and down from heaven to hell.
The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.
Flannery O’Connor’s brief life and slim output were nonetheless marked by piercing powers of observation.
It is high time to compel man by the might of right to give woman her political, legal and social rights. She will find her own sphere in accordance with her capacities, powers and tastes; and yet she will be woman still.