A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.
Sure, cried the tenant men, but it's our land. We measured it and broke it up. We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it's no good, it's still ours. That's what makes it ours-being born on it, working it, dying on it.
All we got is the family unbroke.
That man who is more then his elements knows the land that is more than its analysis.
And now the group was welded to one thing, one unit, so that in the dark the eyes of the people were inward, and their minds played in other times, and their sadness was like rest, like sleep.
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.
And now they were weary and frightened because they had gone against a system they did not understand and it had beaten them. They knew that the team and the wagon were worth much more. They knew the buyer man would get much more, but they didn't know how to do it. Merchandising was a secret to them.
The break would never come as long as fear could turn to wrath.
And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history; repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.
The clouds appeared and went away, and in a while they did not try anymore.
At night frantic men walked boldly to hen roosts and carried off the squawking chickens. If they were shot at, they did not run, but splashed sullenly away; and if they were hit, they sank tiredly in the mud.
The fields were fruitful, and starving men moved on the roads.
Death was a friend, and sleep was Death's brother
The hell with it! There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of nice, but that's as far as any man got a right to say.
He drank too much when he could get it, ate too much when it was there, talked too much all the time.
The land is so much more than its analysis.
How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can't scare him--he has known a fear beyond every other.
The last clear definite function of men-muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need-this is man.
I nearly always write just as I nearly always breathe. - John Steinbeck
The people in flight from the terror behind-strange things happen to them, some bitterly cruel and some so beautiful that the faith is refired forever.
I shall tell them this story against the background of the county I grew up in and along the river I know and do not love very much. For I have discovered that there are other rivers.
There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do.
If I could do this book properly it would be one of the really fine books and a truly American book. But I am assailed with my own ignorance and inability. i'll just have to work from a background of these. Honesty. If I can keep an honesty it is all I can expect of my poor brain.... If I can do that it will be all my lack of genius can produce. For no else knows my lack of ability the way I do. I am pushing against it all the time.
This you may say of man - when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back.
I've done my damndest to rip a reader's nerves to rags, I don't want him satisfied.
Why don't you go on west to California? There's work there, and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick an orange. Why, there's always some kind of crop to work in. Why don't you go there?
Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, and emerges ahead of his accomplishments.
You're buying years of work, toil in the sun; you're buying a sorrow that can't talk.
Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby those fruits may be eaten.
You're not buying only junk, you're buying junked lives. And more - you'll see - you're buying bitterness.
More John Steinbeck Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - People - World - Mind - Time - Education - Thought & Thinking - Work & Career - Books - Courage - Dogs - Woman - Sin - Life - Place - Wisdom & Knowledge - Children - Friendship - Fear - 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
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