“I don’t want to survive. I want to live.”

From: 12 Years a Slave

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Solomon Northup

The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the Academy Award winning film and 2014 Best Picture awardee, 12 Years A Slave. The film is based on the memoirs of Solomon Northup, a free African-American carpenter, skilled violinist and family man, who is living in New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film details the hardships Solomon Northup had to endure before his freedom was secured after 12 years.

The quote comes fairly early in the film. A group of slaves are contemplating to fight their way to freedom but others have reservations as it would probably mean their deaths if they did decide to push through with it. Solomon (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), in despair, recalls his life as a free man just a few days ago. It is at this moment he delivers the quote.

Geek wisdom: There is a difference between being alive and actual living life. Being alive is going through life without passion and happiness and just gritting your teeth no matter how bad things are. Living life is to actually make an effort to make things better for yourself. We should all strive for the latter.


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