15 Book Quotes About Freedom For July 4th

by Sadie Trombetta
Close up of the head of the statue of liberty

If you watch the news or follow the president on Twitter, it can seem pretty hard to feel patriotic this days. But America's birthday is upon us, which means it's time to get in the mood to celebrate this great country with some backyard barbecues, fantastic fireworks, and these book quotes about freedom in honor of the Fourth of July.

Thanks in part to the nasty realities of politics, it isn't always easy to feel proud to be an American. Our representatives are waging petty political warfare against one another, our president is insulting women on social media (again), and our latest policy changes are harming Americans all over the country.

But all that negativity aside, it's hard to deny what a great country the United States truly is. Yes, it is plagued with serious issues, social, financial, political and otherwise, but it is also brimming with hope and change. In America today, we have people showing up every day to protest and demonstrate their resistance. We have organized groups speaking out against gun violence and calling out racial injustice. We even have states standing up to unjust and unfair requests from the administration itself.

It might not always be easy to wave the American flag proudly, but when you hear stories like these, it's a nice reminder what our country really is all about: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.

If you still need a little holiday pick me up before the big celebration these 14 book quotes about freedom in honor of Independence Day will have you feeling patriotic in no time.

“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.”

— John Steinbeck, East of Eden

“Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.”

— Frank Herbert, Dune

“The caged bird sings with a fearful trill, of things unknown, but longed for still, and his tune is heard on the distant hill, for the caged bird sings of freedom.”

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

— Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“Truth is deadly. Truth is freedom. Truth can break and mend and bind.”

— Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Mist and Fury

“Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. The road goes upward towards the light; but the laden traveler may never reach the end of it.”

— Ursula K. Le Guin, The Tombs of Atuan

“Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.”

— Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

“Every little increase in human freedom has been fought over ferociously between those who want us to know more and be wiser and stronger, and those who want us to obey and be humble and submit.”

— Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife

"No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it”

— Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

“I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.”

— Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

“The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”

— David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

“Equality and freedom are not luxuries to lightly cast aside. Without them, order cannot long endure before approaching depths beyond imagining.”

— Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

"When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”

— Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

“I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.”

— Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman