John Steinbeck Quotes (251 Quotes)


    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.

    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.


    A day, a livelong day, is not one thing but many. It changes not only in growing light toward zenith and decline again, but in texture and mood, in tone and meaning, warped by a thousand factors of season, of heat or cold, of still or multi winds, torqued by odors, tastes, and the fabrics of ice or grass, of bud or leaf or black-drawn naked limbs. And as a day changes so do its subjects, bugs and birds, cates, dogs, butterflies and people.





    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.



    I think there must have been some other girl printed somewhere in his heart, for he was a man of love and his wife was not a woman to show her feelings.

    Sometimes, a lie is told in kindness. I don't believe it ever works kindly. The quick pain of truth can pass away, but the slow, eating agony of a lie is never lost.

    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.

    For it is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more. And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have.


    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?

    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.

    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.

    A man who tells secrets or stories must think of who is hearing or reading, for a story has as many versions as it has readers. Everyone takes what he wants or can from it and thus changes it to his measure. Some pick out parts and reject the rest, some strain the story through their mesh of prejudice, some paint it with their own delight. A story must have some points of contact with the reader to make him feel at home in it. Only then can he accept wonders.


    Dessie's friends were good and loyal but they were human, and humans love to feel good and they hate to feel bad.






    The church and the whorehouse arrived in the Far West simultaneously. And each would have been horrified to think it was a different facet of the same thing. But surely they were both intended to accomplish the same thing: the singing, the devotion, the poetry of the churches took a man out of his bleakness for a time, and so did the brothels.

    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.

    He did not know, and perhaps this doctor did. And he could not take the chance of pitting his certain ignorance against this man's possible knowledge. He was trapped as his people were always trapped, and would be until, as he had said, they could be sure that the things in the books ere really in the books.

    Margie had known many men, most of them guilty, wounded in their vanity, or despairing, so that she had developed a contempt for her quarry as a professional hunter of vermin does. It was easy to move such men through their fears and their vanities. They ached so to be fooled that she no longer felt triumph--only a kind of disgusted pity.


    More John Steinbeck Quotations (Based on Topics)


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