And there is the fickle man who is constantly recalling his decisions and deciding all over again; he is obviously the greatest failure and the most unhappy man of the lot.
–Eugene Victor Legaren, Subconscious Power–The Secret of Achievement, 1926
[T]he prince must consider…how to avoid those things which make him hated or contemptible….It makes him contemptible to be considered fickle, frivolous, effeminate, mean-spirited, irresolute, from all of which a prince should guard himself as from a rock.
—Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince
Come on, admit it–you knew this one was inevitable.
It isn’t so much that he is a strict disciple of radical ideology, but rather that he is devoid of fixed principles, willing to do anything and everything to gain fame, fortune and power. He has an endless, consuming need for perpetual affirmation. This is a bully who just wants to be liked, a man-boy nursing a nagging internal emptiness.
He is fickle and spoiled and rotten.
–Charles M. Blow, “Donald Trump, Terroristc Man-Toddler” (Article)
Marinus gazes at the easy-to-swallow pill.
My evoked heart in my evoked body beats a little faster.
I look back. Jonah puts a glass of Evian water by the dish.
“Thank you.” Still bleary, Marinus picks up the pill.
I look away. Swallow it, I think. Swallow it whole.
“No worries,” says Jonah, unworriedly, as if our metalives aren’t dependent on this fickle woman doing as he bids her.
–David Mitchell, Slade House
Wow, Nabokov really knew how to create the most atrocious characters simply by letting them speak in his fiction. This quote comes from Pale Fire. Note that the gender of the “young creature” is most likely male. The fact that it’s hard to figure out the victim’s gender suggests that such details are less important to rape culture than whether victims are some combination of young, vulnerable, and/or forgettable.
I now felt a new, pitiful tenderness toward the poem as one has for a fickle young creature who has been stolen and brutally enjoyed by a black giant but now again is safe in our hall and park, whistling with the stableboys, swimming with the tame seal.