"If you know too much, boy, your brains might explode," a doctor said one day. (2.17.21)
"Intellectuals don’t fit well into the party, Wright," he said solemnly.
"But I’m not an intellectual," I protested. "I sweep the streets for a living." I had just been assigned by the relief system to sweep the streets for thirteen dollars a week. (2.19.34)
The heritage of free thought,—which no man could escape if he read at all,—the spirit of the Protestant ethic which one suckled, figuratively, with one’s mother’s milk, that self-generating energy that made a man feel, whether he realized it or not, that he had to work and redeem himself through his own acts, all this was forbidden, taboo. (2.19.366)