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Quotes / The World Inside

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Text to hide.God bless, god bless, god bless!God bless us every one!God bless Daddo, god bless Mommo, god bless you and me!God bless us all, the short and tall,Give us fer- til- i-tee!

Indra, Sandor, Marx (Kids of Mattern)
Chapter 1

    Direct Character Quotes 
  • (In the corridor) Gortman:"Your family is smaller than the norm, I see."
    It is an excruciatingly impolite statement, but Mattern is able to be tolerant of his guest's faux pas. Mildly he replies
    Mattern: "We would have had more children, but my wife's fertility had to be terminated surgically. It was a great tragedy for us."
    Gortman:"You have always valued large families here?"
    Mattern:"We value life. To create new life is the highest virtue. To prevent life from coming into being is the darkest sin. We all love our big bustling world. Does it seem unendurable to you? Do we seem unhappy?" :On Birth
    Chapter 1

  • Gortman:“Considering that there are so many of you. And that you spend your whole lives inside a single colossal building. You never do go out, do you?”
    Mattern:“Most of us never do,” Mattern admits. “I have traveled, of course— a sociocomputator needs perspective, obviously. But Principessa has never left the building. I believe she has never been below the 350th floor, except when she was taken to see the lower levels while she was in school. Why should she go anywhere? The secret of our happiness is to create self-contained villages of five or six floors within the cities of forty floors within the Urbmons of a thousand floors. We have no sensation of being overcrowded or cramped. We know our neighbors; we have hundreds of dear friends; we are kind and loyal and blessworthy to one another.”: On Community/Travel
    Chapter 1
  • Gortman:“Food?”
    Mattern “We produce none, of course. But we have contractual access to the agricultural communes. I’m sure you’ve seen that nearly nine tenths of the land area of this continent is used for food production; and then there are the marine farms. Oh, we have plenty of food on this planet, now that we no longer waste space by spreading out horizontally over good land.”
    Gortman “But aren’t you at the mercy of the food-producing communes?”
    Mattern “When were city-dwellers not at the mercy of farmers? But you seem to regard life on Earth as an affair of fang and claw. Actually the ecology of our world is neatly in mesh. We are vital to the farmers— their only market, their only source of manufactured goods. They are vital to us— our only source of food. Reciprocal indispensabilities, eh? And the system works. We could support many billions of additional people. Someday, god blessing, we will.”: On Farming
    Chapter 1

  • Mattern:“The building is made of super-stressed concrete. It is constructed about a central service core two hundred meters square. Originally, —>the plan was to have fifty families per floor, but we average about 120 today, and the old apartments have all been subdivided into single-room occupancies. We are wholly self-sufficient, with our own schools, hospitals, sports arenas, houses of worship, and theaters.”:On Community 2
Chapter 1

  • Mattern: "I particularly liked ‘Dynamics of the Hunting Ethic, " Mattern tells him while they are in the dropshaft. "Remarkable. A revelation."
    Gortman:"You really mean that?' Gortman asks, flattered.
    Mattern:"Of course. I try to keep up with the better Venusian journals. It's so fascinating to read about alien customs. Such as hunting wild animals."
    Gortman:"There are none on Earth?"
    Mattern "God bless, no. We couldn't allow that! But I love gaining insight into different ways of life.":On Hunting
    Chapter 1

  • Sandor: "Daddo, Siegmund is still here."
    The child points. Mattern sees. On Principessa's side of the sleeping platform, curled against the inflation pedal, lies fourteen-year-old Siegmund Kluver, who had entered the Mattern home several hours after midnight to exercise his rights of propinquity. Siegmund is fond of older women. He has become quite notorious in the past few months. Now he snores; he has had a good workout.”:First Night-walking Scene
    Chapter 1

  • Gortman:“And everybody remains happy forever?”
    Mattern:“Nearly everybody.” “Who are the exceptions?” Gortman asks. “The Flippos. We endeavor to minimize the frictions of living in such an —>environment; as you see, we never deny one another anything, we never thwart a reasonable desire. But sometimes there are those who abruptly decide —>they can no longer abide by our principles. They flip; they thwart others; they rebel. It is quite sad.”
    Gortman: “What do you do with Flippos?” Mattern: “We remove them, of course,”:On Flippos
    Chapter 1

  • Charles Mattern:(Thoughts) “Can a man with only four children truly be said to have reverence for life? But Principessa's womb no longer —>flowers. The medics have declared that she will not bear again. At twenty-seven she is sterile. Mattern is thinking of taking in a second woman. He —>longs to hear the yowls of an infant again; in any case, a man must do his duty to god.”:On Principessa
    Chapter 1

  • Mattern:"Forgive me for being over-obvious, but I must bring up the matter of your sexual prerogatives. We three will share a single —>platform. —>My wife is available to you, as am I. Within the Urbmon it is improper to refuse any reasonable request, so long as no injury is —>involved. Avoidance of frustration, you see, is the primary rule of a society such as ours, where even minor frictions could lead to uncontrollable —>oscillations of disharmony. ":On Privacy

  • Gortman:"Strange, I'd think that in a society where there are so many people living so close together, an exaggerated respect for privacy would —>develop, rather than a communal freedom."
    Mattern:"In the beginning we had many notions of privacy. God bless, they were allowed to erode! Avoidance of frustration must be our goal, —>otherwise impossible tensions develop. And privacy is frustration."
    Gortman:So you can go into any room in this whole gigantic building and sleep with—"
    Mattern:"Not the whole building," Mattern says, interrupting. "Only Shanghai. We frown on nightwalking beyond one's own city." He chuckles. "We —>do impose a few little restrictions on ourselves, you see, so that our freedoms don't pall.":On Night-walking 2

  • Indra, Sandor, Marx: "God bless, god bless, god bless!
    God bless us every one!
    God bless Daddo, god bless Mommo, god bless you and me!
    God bless us all, the short and tall,
    Give us fer- til- i-tee!" (Kids' morning greeting/prayer)
Chapter 1

  • —>Mattern:"Doors are not locked in Urbmon 116. We have no personal property worth guarding, and we all are socially adjusted. At night it is —>quite proper to enter other homes. We exchange partners in this way all the time; usually wives stay home and husbands migrate, though not —>necessarily. Each of us has access at any time to any other adult member of our community.":On Community

  • Screen Program:"Good morning! The external temperature, if anybody's interested, is 28°. Today's population figure at Urbmon 116 is 881,115, —> which is 102 since yesterday and +14,187 since the first of the year. God bless, but we're=]\\ [=slowing down! Across the way at Urbmon 117 they've —> added 131 since yesterday, including quads for Mrs. Hula Jabotinsky. She's eighteen and has had seven previous. A servant of god, isn't she? The —> time is now 0620. In exactly forty minutes Urbmon 116 will be honored by the presence of Nicanor Gortman, the visiting sociocomputator from Hell, —> who can be recognized by his distinctive outbuilding costume in crimson and ultra-violet. Dr. Gortman will be the guest of the Charles Mat-terns of —> the 799th floor. Of course we'll treat him with the same friendly blessmanship we show one another. God bless Nicanor Gortman! Turning now to news —> from the lower levels of Urbmon 116...”:On Daily Life
Chapter 1

  • “She wars a loin-band and a metallic cup over her left breast. She is slender but voluptuously constructed, and even though her childbearing days are —> over she has not lost the sensual glow of young womanhood. Mattern is proud of her, despite everything.”:On Dress

  • He has nearly ninety square meters of floor space. The sleeping platform deflates; the children's cots retract; the furniture can easily be moved to —> provide play area. Most of the room, in fact, is empty. The screen and the data terminal occupy two-dimensional areas of wall that in an earlier era —> had to be taken up by bulky television sets, bookcases, desks, file drawers, and other encumbrances. It is an airy, spacious environment, —> particularly for a family of just six. :On Housing

  • Charles Mattern:"We average 6.2 children per family on this floor. It's one of the lowest figures in the building, I have to admit. High-status people don't seem to breed well. They've got a floor in Prague—I think it's 117— that averages 9.9 per family! Isn't that glorious?"
    On Population

  • Gortman:"What is the population of the 799th floor?"
    Mattern:"805, last I heard."
    Gortman:"And of Shanghai?"
    Mattern:"About 33,000."
    Gotman:"And of Urbmon 116?"
    Gortman:"And there are fifty urban Monads in this constellation of houses?"
    Gortman:"Making some 40,000,000 people. Or somewhat more than the entire human population of Venus. Remarkable!"
    Mattern:"And this isn't the biggest constellation, not by any means!" Mattern's voice rings with pride. "Sansan is bigger, and so is Boshwash! And there are several larger ones in Europe—Berpar, Wienbud, I think two others. With more being planned!""A global population of 75,000,000,000," Mattern cries.
    Mattern: "God bless! There's never been anything like it! No one goes hungry! Everybody happy! Plenty of open space! God's been good to us, Nicanor!" He pauses before a door labeled 79915. "Here's my home. What I have is yours, dear guest" They go in.
    On Population 2
Chapter 1
  • “The building,” he says, “is made of super-stressed concrete. It is constructed about a central service core two hundred meters square. Originally, the plan was to have fifty families per floor, but we average about 120 today, and the old apartments have all been subdivided into single-room occupancies. We are wholly self-sufficient, with our own schools, hospitals, sports arenas, houses of worship, and theaters.”
: On Urbmons