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(About Crime, Criticism, Failure, Man, Morality, Punishment)

Strength and success - they are above morality, above criticism. It seems, then, that it is not what you do, but how you do it and what you call it. Is there a check in men, deep in them, that stops or punishes? There doesn't seem to be. The only punishment is for failure. In effect no crime is committed unless a criminal is caught.

("The Winter of Our Discontent")


More Quotes from John Steinbeck:


The bank - the monster has to have profits all the time. It can't wait. It'll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can't stay one size.
John Steinbeck

She used religion as a therapy for the ills of the world and herself, and she changed the religion to fit the ill. When she found that the theosophy she had developed for communication with a dead husband was not necessary, she cast about for some new unhappiness.
John Steinbeck

And finally comes culture, which is entertainment, relaxation, transport out of the pain of living.
John Steinbeck

He had an idea that even when beaten he could steal a little victory by laughing at defeat.
John Steinbeck

Maybe it's true that we are all descended from the restless, the nervous, the criminals, the arguers and brawlers, but also the brave and independent and generous. If our ancestors had not been that, they would have stayed in their home plots in the other world and starved over the squeezed-out soil.
John Steinbeck

I am sifting my memories, the way men pan the dirt under a barroom floor for the bits of gold dust that fall between the cracks. It's small mining-- small mining. You're too young a man to be panning memories, Adam. You should be getting yourself some new ones, so that the mining will be richer when you come to age.
John Steinbeck

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Based on Topics: Crime Quotes, Criticism Quotes, Failure Quotes, Man Quotes, Morality Quotes, Punishment Quotes