43 Best Nellie Bly Quotes on Feminism and Asylum

Nellie Bly, born as Elizabeth Cochrane, was a renowned American journalist, celebrated for her fearless and innovative reporting style.

Born in 1864, Cochrane started her career in Pennsylvania in 1885 after her passionate letter to the editor at Pittsburgh Dispatch earned her a job.

She wrote under the pseudonym “Nellie Bly”, reporting on socially significant issues like conditions among working girls and slum life.


She later worked for the New York World, where she took daring steps like getting herself committed to an asylum by pretending to be insane, exposing poor patient care and prompting improvements.

Also read: Anderson Cooper Quotes from Famous Journalist and Rudyard Kipling Quotes from English Journalist

Her fame reached its peak when she embarked on an around-the-world journey, mimicking Jules Verne’s Phileas Fogg, completing the trip in 72 days.

This sensationalized feat brought her global recognition. After a brief retirement following her millionaire husband’s death, Bly returned to journalism in 1920, joining the New York Journal.

Best Nellie Bly Quotes


I said I could and I would. And I did. ~ Nellie Bly.


Nonsense! If you want to do it, you can do it. The question is, do you want to do it? ~ Nellie Bly.


I have always been particular in stating only facts in all my work. ~ Nellie Bly.

The turned-down pages of my life were turned up, and the past was present. ~ Nellie Bly.

Accept praise for its worth – politeness. Be brutally frank with yourself. It’s safer. ~ Nellie Bly.

To sit on a quiet deck, to have a star-lit sky the only light above or about, to hear the water kissing the prow of the ship, is, to me, paradise. ~ Nellie Bly.


A stick beats more ugliness into a person than it ever beats out. ~ Nellie Bly.

I had looked forward so eagerly to leaving the horrible place, yet when my release came and I knew that God’s sunlight was to be free for me again, there was a certain pain in leaving. ~ Nellie Bly.

A free American girl can accommodate herself to circumstances without the aid of a man. ~ Nellie Bly.

I had never been near insane persons before in my life, and had not the faintest idea of what their actions were like. ~ Nellie Bly.

People in the world can never imagine the length of days to those in asylums. They seemed never ending, and we welcomed any event that might give us something to think about as well as talk of. ~ Nellie Bly.

I have watched patients stand and gaze longingly toward the city they in all likelihood will never enter again. It means liberty and life; it seems so near, and yet heaven is not further from hell. ~ Nelly Bly.


How nonsensical it is to blame or criticize people for what they are powerless to change. ~ Nellie Bly.

In our short walks we passed the kitchen where food was prepared for the nurses and doctors. There we got glimpses of melons and grapes and all kinds of fruits, beautiful white bread and nice meats, and the hungry feeling would be increased tenfold. ~ Nellie Bly.

If one is traveling simply for the sake of traveling and not for the purpose of impressing one’s fellow passengers, the problem of baggage becomes a very simple one. ~ Nellie Bly.


While I live I hope. ~ Nellie Bly.

Dress is a great weapon in the hands of a woman if rightly applied. It is a weapon men lack, so women should make the most of it. ~ Nelly Bly.

Top Nellie Bly Quotes

The Mexicans surveyed myself and my chaperone in amazement. But I defied their gaze and showed them that a free American girl can accommodate herself to circumstances without the aid of a man. ~ Nellie Bly.

How can a doctor judge a woman’s sanity by merely bidding her good morning and refusing to hear her pleas for release? Even the sick ones know it is useless to say anything, for the answer will be that it is their imagination. ~ Nellie Bly.


Never order food in excess of your body weight. ~ Nellie Bly.

They can talk of the companionship of men, the splendor of the sun, the softness of moonlight, the beauty of music, but give me a willow chair on a quiet deck. ~ Nellie Bly.

There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt. ~ Nellie Bly.


The attendants seemed to find amusement and pleasure in exciting the violent patients to do their worst. ~ Nellie Bly.

I always liked fog, it lends such a soft, beautifying light to things that otherwise in the broad glare of day would be rude and commonplace. ~ Nellie Bly.

I shuddered to think how completely the insane were in the power of their keepers, and how one could weep and plead for release, and all of no avail, if the keepers were so minded. ~ Nellie Bly.


I need a vacation; why not take a trip around the world? ~ Nellie Bly.

I took upon myself to enact the part of a poor, unfortunate crazy girl, and felt it my duty not to shirk any of the disagreeable results that should follow. ~ Nellie Bly.

I felt sure now that no doctor could tell whether people were insane or not, so long as the case was not violent. ~ Nellie Bly.


Energy rightly applied and directed will accomplish anything. ~ Nellie Bly.

The insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island is a human rat-trap. It is easy to get in, but once there it is impossible to get out. ~ Nellie Bly.

Famous Nellie Bly Quotes

They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors! ~ Nellie Bly.

To have a good brain the stomach must be cared for. ~ Nellie Bly.


If you want to do it, you can do it. The question is, do you want to do it? ~ Nellie Bly.

I always had a desire to know asylum life more thoroughly – a desire to be convinced that the most helpless of God’s creatures, the insane, were cared for kindly and properly. ~ Nellie Bly.

Never having failed, I could not picture what failure meant. ~ Nellie Bly.

Sports do not build character. They reveal it. ~ Nellie Bly.


I have never written a word that did not come from my heart. I never shall. ~ Nellie Bly.

I always made a point of telling the doctors I was sane, and asking to be released, but the more I endeavored to assure them of my sanity, the more they doubted it. ~ Nellie Bly.

Inspirational Nellie Bly Quotes

What a mysterious thing madness is. I have watched patients whose lips are forever sealed in a perpetual silence. They live, breathe, eat; the human form is there, but that something, which the body can live without, but which cannot exist without the body, was missing. ~ Nellie Bly.

I always have a comfortable feeling that nothing is impossible if one applies a certain amount of energy in the right direction. ~ Nellie Bly.


I was too impatient to work at the usual duties assigned women on newspapers. ~ Nellie Bly.

It is only after one is in trouble that one realizes how little sympathy and kindness there are in the world. ~ Nellie Bly.

That was the greatest night of my existence. For a few hours I stood face to face with ‘self’! ~ Nellie Bly.

So these were the 43 top Nellie Bly Quotes on Feminism and Asylum.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Eddie Vedder quotes and Rob Zombie quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar