Ellen Key

(Ellen Karolina Sofia Key)

Ellen Key
Ellen Key
  • Born: December 11, 1849
  • Nationality: Swedish
  • Profession: Writer









Quote Topics Cited
Corporal punishment is as humiliating for him who gives it as for him who receives it; it is ineffective besides. Neither shame nor physical pain have any other effect than a hardening one. Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
Love is moral even without legal marriage, but marriage is immoral without love. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Families, Children & Parenting ;Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
A new principle cannot be put into effect without bringing with it new mistakes. But we may, however, be convinced that the laws of life - to which belongs the law that suffering follows the misuse of freedom - will finally be able to bring everything within its right limits. Life ;Freedom & Liberty
All thoughtful persons perceive that the ideas of the morality of sexual relations upheld by the religions and laws of the Western nations are in our time undergoing a radical transformation. Time
Altered social conditions may remove certain ailments and deformities in existing society. But the new and more beautiful society will not be formed exclusively - or even mainly - by improved conditions, but above all by more perfect human beings. Society
Ambition has developed into a passion which drives women, as well as men, to great works - and small deeds. Formerly competitors in the race for men, they are now competing in the race for social tasks and distinctions. Women
Art, that great undogmatized church. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
At present, the most effective way of preventing war would be for statesmen to direct politics so as to support a sound nationalism. This leads to concordance between people of kindred race and languages, whereas the conquest and coercion of people of different race and language inevitably lead to new wars. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;War & Peace
Certainly it may, under present imperfect conditions, often be a duty not to destroy the outward form of marriage for the sake of the children. But by no means can this duty be preached as universally binding. Families, Children & Parenting
Children must be impressed with the fact that the greatest heroes are those who fight to help others, not those who fight for power or glory. They must be made to understand that victory does not prove that the thing fought for is right, nor that defeat proves that a cause is wrong. Power
Christianity is sustained by the knowledge that the object of man's life on earth is his development as an eternal being. Therefore, none of his expressions of life can be an end in itself, but must serve a higher purpose than the earthly life and happiness of the individual - or even than that of the race. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Life ;Happiness & Unhappiness
Countless are the women parasites who, to satisfy their craving for pleasure and luxury, impoverish father or husband. These lame limbs in the social organism, which themselves accomplish nothing, but for whom all other limbs work, are the most flagrant example of womanly immorality in the present. Women ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Education can give you a skill, but a liberal education can give you dignity. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Education must be based on the certainty that faults cannot be atoned for or blotted out, but must always have their consequences. At the same time, there is the other certainty that, through progressive evolution, by slow adaptation to the conditions of environment, they may be transformed. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Time
Even if national peculiarities in character and in laws occasion differences in the curve which the woman movement describes in the different countries, yet everywhere the movement has had the same causes, must follow the same main direction, and - sooner or later - must have the same effects.
Every young person has to bear the burden - heavier in proportion as the individuality is richer - of accommodating himself to existence now that it is no longer seen with the eyes of a child, the eyes to which everything is as it should be.
Everything, everything in war is barbaric... But the worst barbarity of war is that it forces men collectively to commit acts against which individually they would revolt with their whole being. War & Peace
For thousands of years, poetry has been picturing love as a mysterious and tragic power. But when anyone says the same thing in plain prose, and adds that life would be colourless and poor without the great passions, then this is called immorality! Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Power
Great love, like great genius, can never be a duty: both are life's gracious gifts to its elect. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Happiness lies so far from man, but he must begin by daring to will it. Happiness & Unhappiness
How the woman movement has elevated woman's work, since it has raised the standard of qualification in many fields and increased the feeling of responsibility in all! Work, Workers & The Labor Force
If, in the coming thousand years, a feminine culture shall really supplement the masculine, then this will be exactly in the measure in which women have the courage to create and to act as most feminists now do not even dare think. Women
In every new generation, the impulses supposed to have been rooted out by discipline in the child break forth again when the struggle for existence - of the individual in society, of the society in the life of the state - begins. These passions are not transformed by the prevalent education of the day, but only repressed. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Society ;Life
In order to overcome the spirit that creates war, mothers must begin in the tender years of childhood to teach children that right must be the foundation of all might, that authority can be exercised without the help of fists. War & Peace
In the new woman, the feeling of life will be enhanced; her experience will be more profound. Her soul life, her demands for beauty, her senses will be more developed and refined. She will be more sensitive, more delicately vibratory; she will therefore be able to be more profoundly happy and also to suffer more keenly than the woman of our time. Life ;Time
It is in the province of home and society that woman has fashioned the customs. Here, women's approval and disapproval, wishes and wants, have been quite as formative and reformative as the action of the sea on the mainland. Society ;Women
It is not a dream that someday, nations will be able to settle their difficulties without war, just as individuals now settle their personal feuds without resorting to arguments of physical strength or sharp steel. For, then, humanity will have created international jurisdiction and a power to enforce its laws. Power ;War & Peace
It is not sufficient for the young to devote their enthusiasm, their courage, their ambition, their self-sacrifice to the great ideas of the time; the young must not only preserve but increase their powers if they are to be really equal to their eternal task: that of drawing the age in advance. Time
Just as little as terror - not even the terror of war - can save the world, just as little can hate ever be anything uplifting. Love is the only firm ground for peace - not only love for one's fellowmen, but first of all, love of one's country. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;War & Peace
Lack of courage or means often deters the European woman from more independent business activity, and this in spite of increasing freedom to choose her occupation, in spite of brilliant examples of successful undertakings of women, in photography, hotel or boarding-house management, dress-making, etc. Women ;Business, Commerce & Finance
Like George Sand, the feminism of the present day asserts the right of free thought against the creed of authority in every field; the solidarity of mankind and the cause of peace against the patriotism of militarism; social reform against the existing relations of society. Society ;War & Peace ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Love, as life, will fortunately remain an eternal mystery which no science will be able to penetrate and which reason cannot rule. Our only hope for the future is that man, endowed with a more delicate sense, will listen to the secrets of his own life. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Hope
Men have desired, and justly, that women should learn from their confessions in regard to the conflict between man and woman. But woman, because of the conventional conception of womanly purity, has been intimidated from conceding to men a deep insight into her erotic life experiences. Life ;Women
Morality in its noblest forms remains inexplicable unless one takes into account that power of growth in the human soul which has led generation after generation from lower religious and ethical standards to higher ones which often clash with worldly advantages. Power
No one who passively endures an injustice against himself has the material in him to struggle for the rights of others. The one who patiently forbears becomes an accessory to the injustice done to others. He who resists the injustice which he himself meets can open up the way to a higher right for others.
Not observation of a duty but liberty itself is the pledge that assures fidelity.
On the question of marriage, as in all other respects, Lutheranism is a compromise, a bridge between two logical views of the universe: the Catholic-Christian and the Individualistic Monist. And bridges are made to go over, not to stand upon. Families, Children & Parenting
On the whole, the experience that the activity of the soul obeys the law of least resistance has been verified even in regard to women's social morals. As a rule, these have been focused on the family and on charity - among other reasons, because woman's sense of duty seldom finds means of expression in other directions. Women ;Families, Children & Parenting
One can best observe a movement of the time - its dangers as well as its advantages - by scrutinising it in its strongest, most pronounced form. Time
Only by keeping oneself in constant process of growth, under the constant influence of the best things in one's own age, does one become a companion halfway good enough for one's children.
Our age gives the more receptive among the young such a sense of social responsibility that one is inclined at times to fear that social interests may encroach upon individual development, that a knowledge of all the ills affecting the community may act as too powerful a damper on the joys of youth. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Social motherliness has made women's struggle for liberty the loveliest synthesis of egoism and altruism. Women
Socialism and the woman movement are two mighty streams which drag along with them great parts of the firm formations which they touch.
Tenderness has created the first 'social order' - that of the mother with her offspring. Through motherliness, woman later makes her great contributions to civilization.
The art of living demands that our interest in bringing forth flowers in our family life equal the interest we take in bringing them forth in our window gardens. So long as their home-life aesthetics have not become ethics, women need not expect husbands, children, or servants to feel happy in the homes of their creation. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The art of natural education consists in ignoring the faults of children nine times out of ten, in avoiding immediate interference, which is usually a mistake, and devoting one's whole vigilance to the control of the environment in which the child is growing up, to watching the education which is allowed to go on by itself. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The belief that we some day shall be able to prevent war is, to me, one with the belief in the possibility of making humanity really human. War & Peace
The condition of all development is not to be content with the present, but to have the courage to ask how everything can be made better and the good fortune to find a right answer to this question in thought or in action.
The current of emotion, which was formerly directed to gaining eternal bliss, is turned in socialism - in the same degree as the latter is permeated by evolutionism - towards the perfecting of earthly life. Life
The decisive factor for the future of Europe - and before all things, for the 'restoration' of Europe - will be whether political thought and national feelings are influenced by the reality of internationalism. Future
The educator must above all understand how to wait; to reckon all effects in the light of the future, not of the present. Future
The educator should do anything but advise the child to do what everybody does. He should rather rejoice when he sees in the child tendencies to deviation.
The educator wants the child to be finished at once and perfect. He forces upon the child an unnatural degree of self-mastery, a devotion to duty, a sense of honour - habits that adults get out of with astonishing rapidity.
The emancipation of women is practically the greatest egoistic movement of the nineteenth century, and the most intense affirmation of the right of the self that history has yet seen. Women ;History
The ever clearer consciousness that love can dispense with marriage, yet marriage cannot dispense with love, is already partially recognized by modern society, by the facility of divorce. Society ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Families, Children & Parenting
The exact sciences, which would be considered a priori as little adapted to women, for example mathematics, astronomy and physics, are exactly those in which thus far they have most distinguished themselves. This contains a warning against too precipitate conclusions about the intellectual life of woman. Life ;Women
The havoc wrought by war, which one compares with the havoc wrought by nature, is not an unavoidable fate before which man stands helpless. The natural forces that are the cause of war are human passions, which it lies in our power to change. What are culture and civilization if not the taming of blind forces within us as well as in nature? Nature ;War & Peace
The married woman as family provider beside the man, often also in place of the man, but always however subservient to the man's dominion - this is the worst form of woman slavery our time has created. Time ;Families, Children & Parenting
The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The present practice is to impress one's own discoveries, opinions and principles on the child by constantly directing his actions. The last thing to be realised by the educator is that he really has before him an entirely new soul, a real self whose first and chief right is to think over the things with which he comes in contact.
The serious questions that are talked out or strangled with red tape are more numerous than those that are killed by silence; the number of people whose ideas are knocked on the head in societies is greater in our day than that of the solitary fighters who go under.
The simplest formula for the new conception of morality, which is beginning to be opposed to the moral dogma still esteemed by all society, but especially by the women, might be summed up in these words: Love is moral even without legal marriage, but marriage is immoral without love. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Women ;Families, Children & Parenting
The storm and stress period of women and the new social and psychological formations thereby entailed must indeed extend far into the twentieth century. This period of conflict will cease only when woman within and out of marriage shall have received legal equality with man. Women ;Equality & Equal Opportunity ;Families, Children & Parenting
The woman pastor would often be, especially for women and children, a better minister than the clergyman; for them also, the woman judge might often surpass the man in penetration and understanding. Women
The work of popular education, the temperance movement, the peace movement, are to a great extent carried on by the young. Their meetings show that the young understand one of their tasks: that of bringing together the different classes through social intercourse. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;War & Peace ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The young must be prepared to experience innumerable disappointments and yet not fail.
Those who profess the faith of Life regard the ideals of mankind as an expression of man's higher needs. Ideals which were once incentives to development thus become a drag upon it whenever life's needs demand new forms that are not recognised by the prevailing idealism. Life ;Religion & God
To burn the ideal of a great love into the soul of youth in letters of fire - that is to give him a real moral strength. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Unless one believes in a superhuman reason which directs evolution, one is bound to believe in a reason inherent in humanity, a motive power transcending that of each separate people, just as the power of the organism transcends that of the organ. This reason increases in proportion as the unity of mankind becomes established. Power
War can be prevented only by broad-minded statesmanship - a statesmanship that understands how to enlist people's interests in a leading cause. War & Peace
What would happen if we finally succeeded in following the directions of nature and recognized that the great secret of education lies hidden in the maxim, 'Do not educate'? Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Nature
When it comes to the application to life of existing laws and morals, woman, because of her willing receptiveness, her elasticity and adaptability combined with her power of tenacious retention, has exerted an influence, the value of which is too vast to be measured. Life ;Power
When one paints an ideal, one does not need to limit one's imagination. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
When psychical phenomena have been as much investigated as physical, love will also receive its cumatology - that is, its science of waves. We shall follow the curves of the emotions through the ages, their movement of rise and fall, the oppositions and side-influences by which they have been determined. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
When the crying child is immediately isolated, and it is explained to him at the same time that whoever annoys others must not be with them, if this isolation is the absolute result and cannot be avoided, in the child's mind a basis is laid for the experience that one must be alone when one makes oneself unpleasant or disagreeable. Time
When the sense of solidarity has been developed to such a point that each one feels the cause of all others as his own, we shall be drawing near to international and to social peace. War & Peace
When, in any ethical department, unity is attained between outer demands and inner desires, between nature and conscience, between the needs of society and the individual, the moral formula is void because inner necessity then makes it psychically and physically impossible to break the outer law. Thus, true morality is attained. Society ;Nature
Whereas nationalism still seeks power, honour, and glory through means that endanger other countries, patriotism knows that a country's strength and honour can only be permanently safeguarded through concourse with other countries. And whereas nationalism scoffs at the idea of international laws and regulations, patriotism seeks to create such. Power ;Citizenship & Patriotism
While the women of the older generation were thankful if only they succeeded in obtaining 'a work and a duty,' however monotonous and wearing it might be, the will of the younger generation for a pleasurable labour has fortunately increased. Women ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force