John Steinbeck Quotes (251 Quotes)



    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.

    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.

    This was an evil beyond thinking. The killing of a man was not so evil as the killing of a boat. For a boat does not have sons, and a boat cannot protect itself, and a wounded boat does not heal.



    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.


    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.



    I know a little bit about a great many things and not enough about any one to make a living in these times.

    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.

    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.

    And in his dream, Coyotito was reading from a book as large as a house, with letters as big as dogs, and the words galloped and played on the book.




    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.

    When Kino had finished, Juana came back to the fire and ate her breakfast. They had spoken once, but there is not need for speech if it is only a habit anyway. Kino sighed with satisfaction - and that was conversation.


    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.


    You can boast about anything if it's all you have. Maybe the less you have, the more you are required to boast.

    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 saw something that makes a man doubtful of the constancy of the realities outside himself. It was the shocking discovery that makes a man wonder if I've missed this, what else have I failed to see?

    I think the difference between a lie and a story is that a story utilizes the trappings and appearance of truth for the interest of the listener as well as of the teller. A story has in it neither gain nor loss. But a lie is a device for profit or escape. I suppose if that definition is strictly held to, then a writer of stories is a liar - if he is financially fortunate.

    Sometimes when she was alone, and she knew she was alone, she permitted her mind to play in a garden, and she smiled.


    For every man in the world functions to the best of his ability, and no one does less than his best, no matter what he may think about it.

    Let's say that when I was a little baby, and all my bones soft and malleable, I was put in a small Episcopal cruciform box and so took my shape. Then, when I broke out of the box, the way a baby chick escapes an egg, is it strange that I had the shape of a cross? Have you ever noticed that chickens are roughly egg-shaped?


    More John Steinbeck Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - People - World - Mind - Time - Thought & Thinking - Education - Work & Career - Books - Place - Dogs - Sin - Courage - Life - Woman - Children - Success - Soul - 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

    Related Authors


    Marcel Proust - Henry David Thoreau - George Orwell - Brian Tracy - Aesop - Tertullian - Nicholas Sparks - Lewis Carroll - John Gray - Horatio Alger


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