But think of the glory of the choice! That makes a man a man. A cat has no choice, a bee must make honey. There's no godliness there.
It was quite normal in that day for a man to use up three or four wives in a normal lifetime.
Parents took honor from a daughter who was a teacher.
The free exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.
When you're a child you're the center of everything. Everything happens for you. Other people? They're only ghosts furnished for you to talk to.
But you must give him some sign, some sign that you love him... or he'll never be a man. All his life he'll feel guilty and alone unless you release him.
It's a hard thing to leave any deeply routine life, even if you hate it.
People like you to be something, preferably what they are.
The house was clean, scrubbed and immaculate, curtains washed, windows polished, but all as a man does it - the ironed curtains did not hang quite straight and there were streaks on the windows and a square showed on the table when a book was moved.
You can boast about anything if it's all you have. Maybe the less you have, the more you are required to boast.
Courage and fear were one thing too.
I've never been content to pass a stone without looking under it. And it is a black disappointment to me that I can never see the far side of the moon.
Perhaps it takes courage to raise children..
The quick pain of truth can pass away, but the slow, eating agony of a lie is never lost. That's a running sore.
You're going to pass something down no matter what you do or if you do nothing. Even if you let yourself go fallow, the weeds will grow and the brambles. Something will grow.
Dessie's friends were good and loyal but they were human, and humans love to feel good and they hate to feel bad.
Let's get it over and the door closed shut on it! Let's close it like a book and go on reading! New chapter, new life.
Perhaps the best conversationalist in the world is the man who helps others to talk.
The ways of sin are curious . . . I guess if a man had to shuck off everything he had, inside and out, he'd manage to hide a few little sins somewhere for his own discomfort. They're the last things we'll give up.
Don't you dare take the lazy way. It's too easy to excuse yourself because of your ancestry. Don't let me catch you doing it! Now -- look close at me so you will remember. Whatever you do, it will be you who do.
Liza had a finely developed sense of sin Idleness was a sin, and card playing, which was a kind of idleness to her. She was suspicious of fun whether it involved dancing or singing or even laughter. She felt that people having a good time were wide open to the devil. And this was a shame, for Samuel was a laughing man, but I guess Samuel was wide open to the devil. His wife protected him whenever she could.
Perhaps the less we have, the more we are required to brag.
Then the hard, dry Spaniards came exploring through, greedy and realistic, and their greed was for gold or God. They collected souls as they collected jewels. They gathered mountains and valleys, rivers and whole horizons, the way a man might now gain tittle to building lots.
For the world was changing, and sweetness was gone, and virtue too. Worry had crept on a corroding world, and what was lost- good manners, ease and beauty? Ladies were not ladies anymore, and you couldn't trust a gentleman's word.
Lord, how the day passes! It's like a life - so quickly when we don't watch it and so slowly when we do.
Riches seem to come to the poor in spirit, the poor in interest and joy. To put it straight - the very rich are a poor bunch of bastards
Then there were harebells, tiny lanterns, cream white and almost sinful looking, and these were so rare and magical that a child, finding one, felt singled out and special all day long.
Give me a used Bible and I will, I think, be able to tell you about a man by the places that are edged with the dirt of seeking fingers.
Man has a choice and it's a choice that makes him a man.
She had a dour Presbyterian mind and a code of morals that pinned down and beat the brains out of nearly everything that was pleasant to do.
There are no ugly questions except those clothed in condescension.
He had an idea that even when beaten he could steal a little victory by laughing at defeat.
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.
She planted that terror of debt so deeply in her children that even now, in a changed economic pattern where indebtedness is a part of living, I become restless when a bill is two days overdue. Olive never accepted the time-payment plan when it became popular. A thing bought on time was a thing you did not own and for which you were in debt. She saved for things she wanted, and this meant that the neighbours had new gadgets as much as two years before we did.
There is no knowing how or why dread comes on a parent. Of course, many times apprehension arises when there is no reason for it at all. And it comes most often to the parents of only children, parents who have indulged in black dreams of loss.
He learned that when people are very poor they still have something to give and the impulse to give it.
Maybe-- maybe love makes you suspicious and doubting. Is it true that when you love a woman you are never sure-- never sure of her because you aren't sure of yourself?
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.
These too are of a burning color--not orange, not gold, but if pure gold were liquid and could raise a cream, that golden cream might be like the color of the poppies.
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.
My father said she was a strong woman, and I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is almost indestructible.
Some men ease themselves like setting hens into the nest of death.
They called him a comical genius and carried his stories carefully home, and they wondered at how the stories spilled out on the way, for they never sounded the same repeated in their own kitchens.
I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.
My imagination will get me a passport to hell one day.
Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids.
To the stars, on the wings of a pig.
I know a little bit about a great many things and not enough about any one to make a living in these times.
No one who is young is ever going to be old.
Sometimes in the summer evenings they walked up the hill to watch the afterglow clinging to the tops of the western mountains and to feel the breeze drawn into the valley by the rising day-heated air. Usually they stood silently for a while and breathed in peacefulness. Since both were shy they never talked about themselves. Neither knew about the other at all.
More John Steinbeck Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - People - World - Mind - Time - Education - Thought & Thinking - Books - Work & Career - Woman - Sin - Life - Place - Courage - Dogs - Success - Soul - Children - Literature - View All John Steinbeck Quotations
More John Steinbeck Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Cannery Row
- East of Eden
- Of Mice and Men
- The Grapes of Wrath
- The Pearl
- The Winter of Our Discontent
Marcel Proust - Phil Crosby - Mary Higgins Clark - Laura Ingalls Wilder - Jane Roberts - Jackie Collins - Harriet Beecher Stowe - Frederick Forsyth - Charles Bukowski - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn