Madness: Quotes and lyrics about insanity

1984Two nights ago I finished reading George Orwell’s 1984. Summary: That shit was crazy!!!
I was up until 3am (!) to finish it- not a good idea…  How am I supposed to sleep after reading something like that!? But I had to finish it, it was driving me “crazy”! Much like Winston in the end I just wanted the torture to stop! I will never forget this book although I’m sure my brain will eventually block certain details out…

Ok. I’ll stop being so dramatic. Moving along, I did enjoy reading the book. The story and plot and characters were excellent, and it was a challenging read for various reasons. I had been wanting to read it for years because it’s one of those books that I’ve always heard people talk about and make reference to. Almost any book or movie that is referenced often I’ve got to read! I want to be able to join in those conversations. And any impromptu conversation or discussion about 1984 is sure to be very interesting and entertaining.

The topic of sane vs. insanity came up throughout the book, but especially in some of the last few chapters. And the idea for this post just hit me! It was an idea I had first formulated months and months ago when Muse’s Madness was popular on the radio. Reading this book reminded me of my idea to do a post inspired by madness.


“Do you think I’ve gone ’round the bend?”
“I’m afraid so… you’re mad. Bonkers. Off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret… All of the best people are.”
(Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland)

And some kind of madness has started to evolvedrink me
But some kind of madness is swallowing me whole
Or is it just madness keeping us afloat
Like some kind of madness has taken control…
Our love is mad
(Muse, Madness)

Bridget Jones: “I’m a person in my own right!
Mark Darcy: “Of course you are, darling, just not in your own right mind.”
(Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason)

I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place
Even your emotions have an echo in so much space

(Gnarls Barkley, Crazy)

“It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore. It was nursery first and then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls.”
(Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper)

“Shall I tell you why we have brought you here? To cure you! To make you sane!”
(George Orwell, 1984)

“High high in the hills , high in a pine tree bed.
She’s tracing the wind with that old hand, counting the clouds with that old chant,
Three geese in a flock
one flew eastthe shining
one flew west
one flew over the cuckoo’s nest.”
(Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

“All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.”
(Stephen King, The Shining)

“temporary nervous depression- a slight hysterical tendency”
(Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper)

“We are lunatics from the hospital up the highway, psycho-ceramics, the cracked pots of mankind. Would you like me to decipher a Rorschach for you?”
(Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

“There are things in that paper which nobody knows but me, or ever will.”
(Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper)

“You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”
(George Orwell, 1984)

the yellow wallpaper“I don’t like to look out of the windows- there are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast. I wonder if they all come out of that wallpaper as I did?”
(Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper)

“There is a place, like no place on earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger. Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which, luckily, I am.” 
(Lewis Carroll)

“He knows that you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy.”  
(Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”cheshire cat smile
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”
(Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland)

“Life is very much more exciting now than it used to be.”
(Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper)

“Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.”
(George Orwell, 1984)

“I’m sure I never used to be so sensitive. I think it is due to this nervous condition.”
(Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper)

“The problem that has no name.”
(Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique)

“You must humble yourself before you can become sane.”
(George Orwell, 1984)

*the mad hatter


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