15 Unforgettable Kurt Vonnegut Quotes About the World We Live In
15 Unforgettable Kurt Vonnegut Quotes About the World We Live In Image

If you’ve recently discovered the works of Kurt Vonnegut, you’ve probably realized that the guy had a way with words. (Or, if you’ve been a loyal fan for years, you probably get chills just from reading “poo-tee-weet.”) But no matter how many times you read some of his best lines, the effect never seems to dull.

Because of his seemingly effortless use of brilliant sarcasm, irony, and understatements, Kurt Vonnegut continues to capture the hearts and minds of readers who are introduced to his work today.

Who Was Kurt Vonnegut?

kurt vonnegut image
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Kurt Vonnegut was an American writer whose career spanned over 50 years. He published 14 novels, including what was perhaps his most famous work, Slaughterhouse-Five.

Vonnegut was born in Indiana in 1922. After dropping out of Cornell University, he was deployed to Europe to fight in World War II. He was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge, and also survived the bombing of Dresden, an event that is frequently referenced in many of his stories, especially Slaughterhouse-Five.

Known for his use of dark satire, Vonnegut’s writing often reflected his views on war, religion, and politics. His books captured the horrors and ironies of 20th-century civilization, but the fact that his words remain so strikingly relevant has made him one of the most oft-quoted writers to this day.

Kurt Vonnegut Quotes

Below are 15 of Kurt Vonnegut’s best quotes. Some might make you laugh, some might make you cry, but most all of them will make you think.

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

Mother Night

kurt vonnegut quotes

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”

—Player Piano

“I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.”

A Man Without a Country

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.”

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.”

“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

A Man Without a Country

“There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too.”

Mother Night

“So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.”

A Man Without A Country

“Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter could be said to remedy anything.”

“There is no order in the world around us, we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead.”

Breakfast of Champions

“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”


If you can do no good, at least do no harm.

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’” 

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

“Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?”

“And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.”


And so it goes . . .

When you’re at a loss for words, you can always turn to the ones we’ve been gifted by some of literature’s most brilliant minds.

For more inspiring, amusing, and thought-provoking quotes, check out these 75 quotes about writing and 33 quotes about gratitude to give you the insight you need.

What’s your favorite quote by an author? Share your choice in the comments below!


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15 Unforgettable Kurt Vonnegut Quotes About the World We Live In
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