Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion.To attack the first isnottoassail the last.To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.charlotte brontë: 1848 Jane Eyre (2nd edn), preface.
Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns. These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them: they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ . There is I repeat it a difference; and it is a good, and not a bad action to mark broadly and clearly the line of separation between them. The world may not like to see these ideas dissevered, for it has been accustomed to blend them; finding it convenient to make external show pass for sterling worth to let white-washed walls vouch for clean shrines. It may hate him who dares to scrutinise and expose to rase the gilding, and show base metal under it to penetrate the sepulchre, and reveal charnel relics: but hate as it will, it is indebted to him.charlotte brontë: Preface, 2nd edition (21 December 1847)
There's nobody in the world I'd sooner oblige than you and this young gentleman here. But the whole thing's nonsense, and conventionality, and popular thick-headedness. There's absolutely nothing to fight about, from beginning to end. And anyhow I'm not going to, so that settles it!Kenneth Grahame: The dragon to St. George.
This conflict between the powers of love and chastity ... it ended apparently in the triumph of chastity. Love was suppressed, held in darkness and chains, by fear, conventionality, aversion, or a tremulous yearning to be pure.... But this triumph of chastity was only an apparent, a pyrrhic victory. It would break through the ban of chastity, it would emerge if in a form so altered as to be unrecognizable.thomas mann: Ch. 4 (The Magic Mountain (1924))
In his heart every man knows quite well that, being unique, he will be in the world only once and that no imaginable chance will for a second time gather together into a unity so strangely variegated an assortment as he is: he knows it but he hides it like a bad conscience why? From fear of his neighbor, who demands conventionality and cloaks himself with it. But what is it that constrains the individual to fear his neighbor, to think and act like a member of a herd, and to have no joy in himself? Modesty, perhaps, in a few rare cases. With the great majority it is indolence, inertia. ... Men are even lazier than they are timid, and fear most of all the inconveniences with which unconditional honesty and nakedness would burden them. Artists alone hate this sluggish promenading in borrowed fashions and appropriated opinions and they reveal everyone’s secret bad conscience, the law that every man is a unique miracle.friedrich nietzsche: “Schopenhauer as educator,” § 3.1, R. Hollingdale, trans. (1983), p. 127