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John Steinbeck quotes (showing 1-30 of 1,367)

“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”
John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
“There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do.”
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
“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.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen.”
John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
“All great and precious things are lonely.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
“And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
“All war is a symptom of man's failure as a thinking animal.”
John Steinbeck
“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
John Steinbeck
“But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love.”
John Steinbeck
“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I guess there are never enough books.”
John Steinbeck, A John Steinbeck Encyclopedia
“I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“When two people meet, each one is changed by the other so you've got two new people.”
John Steinbeck
“When a child first catches adults out -- when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just -- his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child's world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“To be alive at all is to have scars. ”
John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
“There's more beauty in truth, even if it is dreadful beauty.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”
John Steinbeck, Cannery Row
tags: life
“Anything that just costs money is cheap.”
John Steinbeck
“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
John Steinbeck
“No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.”
John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
“It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“My imagination will get me a passport to hell one day.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“Do you take pride in your hurt? Does it make you seem large and tragic? ...Well, think about it. Maybe you're playing a part on a great stage with only yourself as audience.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

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