Friday Quick Quote: Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago”

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an unuprooted small corner of evil. 

Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.” 

—     —     —

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

—     —     —

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” 

― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

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6 thoughts on “Friday Quick Quote: Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago”

  1. That was such a deep and true piece that I had to read it three times to get everything. I guess, we need to realize that even if we are basically good, there is some evil in each of us, buried deep inside. We must not ignore it, but understand and confront it. I like to think that if evil people have a small piece of good in them, there is always hope that they will change.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, this is so powerful. I do believe that there is a hint of good or evil in everyone. Who you surround yourself with and your own inner guide can make the difference in which side you lean towards most.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There are many “voices” telling what to do or what to think or what to feel. But “it’s not about the voices in your head, it’s what you do with them” – Lilly Singh. That’s a quote of Lilly Singh’s song “Voices” (check it out, it’s a great hip hop piece) and I thought it suited perfectly with your post. There is goodness and evil in every human being, but some choose to base their actions on the good and some on the evil. Great post and thanks for sharing! 🙂


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