You'd have to be a jew like me to understand. You've heard of the Pale. Every one of us has something fenced up way down in us. We've been in prison for two thousand years. I have the mind of a jailbird, that's why prison can't hurt me. That's why we throw ourselves into every movement of freedom. That's why I feel the slavery of the workers, I feel it as a worker and I feel it as a jew. Oh you can't imagine the overheated stuffiness of life at home on the East Side when I was a kid. We were all jailed in poverty and Judaism and in old customs and hatreds and wornout laws.
John Dos Passos (1896–1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Produced by the New Playwrights Theatre in New York in the spring of 1929. Walter Goldberg in Airways, Inc. Act 1, Three Plays, Harcourt, Brace and Company (1934).