Famous Quotes Explained: « To dream is allowed to the defeated; to remember is allowed to the solitary, » Songs of the Streets and Woods, Preface, Victor Hugo, 1865.
Les Chansons des rues et des bois is a poetic work by Victor Hugo, published in 1865. This collection of poems explores various subjects, from nature to politics, and delves into meditations on human condition and dreams.
The quote To dream is allowed to the defeated; to remember is allowed to the solitary by Victor Hugo sheds light on the nature of dreams and memories in the lives of individuals.
To dream is allowed to the defeated : Here, Victor Hugo suggests that individuals who have experienced failure, defeat, or adversity often turn to dreams as an escape from their challenging reality. Dreams offer a refuge, a temporary means to escape life’s trials and disappointments. They allow the defeated to nurture hope and hold onto better aspirations.
The latter part of the quote, to remember is allowed to the solitary, implies that those who are solitary or isolated find solace in memories. Memories represent a connection to the past, a way to reconnect with precious experiences and moments. For the solitary, remembering is a means to not feel entirely alone, to relive moments of joy or human warmth. It also suggests that only the solitary can live in memories, away from social ties, the present, and the hustle and bustle of life.
This quote further underscores the duality of human emotions. Dreams are often associated with hope, with anticipation of the future, while memories carry nostalgia and a connection to the past. The defeated may aspire to a better future through their dreams, while the solitary find comfort in the past through their memories.
Lastly, Victor Hugo, as a poet, frequently explores themes related to the human condition and the nature of existence. This quote reflects his interest in the emotional richness of life and how individuals navigate between dreams of the future and memories of the past.
This quote by Victor Hugo evokes how individuals use dreams and memories to cope with life’s challenges. It highlights the capacity of the human imagination to offer hope and solace, whether through dreaming of better tomorrows or revisiting precious moments from the past. It encourages reflection on how emotions and experiences intertwine in each person’s life. We can also emphasize that dreams make winners, as those who do not have them do not progress, and that memories do not belong solely to the solitary, as they can be shared as well.
To dream is allowed to the defeated; to remember is allowed to the solitary
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