Most people believe it is only by constraint they can get any good out of themselves, and so they live in a state of psychological distortion. It is his own self that each of them is most afraid of resembling. Each of them sets up a pattern and imitates it; he doesn’t even choose the pattern he imitates: he accepts a pattern that has been chosen for him. And yet I verily believe there are other things to be read in man. But people don’t dare to – they don’t dare to turn the page. Laws of imitation! Laws of fear, I call them. The fear of finding oneself alone – that is what they suffer from – and so they don’t find themselves at all.
― André Gide, The Immoralist