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Top 500 John Steinbeck Quotes (2024 Update)
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John Steinbeck Quote: “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.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “If you want to keep a friend, never test him.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “And I feel that I am a man. And I feel that a man is a very important thing – maybe more important than a star. This is not theology. I have no bent toward gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed – because ‘thou mayest’.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Lead ’em around and around,’’ said Joad. “Sling ’em in the irrigation ditch. Tell ’em they’ll burn in hell if they don’t think like you. What the hell you want to lead ’em someplace for? Jus’ lead ’em.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Are cats strange animals or do they so resemble us that we find them curious as we do monkeys?”
John Steinbeck Quote: “When we get these thruways across the whole country, as we will and must, it will be possible to drive from New York to California without seeing a single thing.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “He wears a beard and his face is half Christ and half satyr and his face tells the truth.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “We gather our arms full of guilt as though it were precious stuff. It must be that we want it that way.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “It was too nerve-wracking, a shocking spectacle, like seeing an old, calm friend go insane.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The men were ruthless because the past had been spoiled, but the women knew how the past would cry to them in the coming days.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “From start to finish I found no strangers. If I had, I might be able to report them more objectively. But these are my people and this my country. If I found matters to criticize and to deplore, they were tendencies equally present in myself.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “I’ve always taken my hangovers as consequence, not as a punishment.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “A light in the daytime is a lonely thing.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “What do I want in a doctor? Perhaps more than anything else-a friend with special knowledge.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “An answer is invariably the parent of a whole family of new questions.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “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.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “It requires self-esteem to receive-not self-love but just a pleasant acquaintance and liking for oneself.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “And once a boy has suffered rejection, he will find rejection even where it does not exist-or, worse, will draw it forth from people simply by expecting it.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “There is no term comparable to green thumbs to apply to such a mechanic, but there should be. For there are men who can look, listen, tap, make an adjustment, and a machine works.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “But Doc had one mental habit he could not get over. When anyone asked a question, Doc thought he wanted to know the answer.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “He can kill anything for need but he could not even hurt a feeling for pleasure.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “We have made our mark on the world, but we have really done nothing that the trees and creeping plants, ice and erosion, cannot remove in a fairly short time.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “One day we’ll sit and you’ll lay it out on the table, neat like a solitaire deck, but now – why, you can’t find all the cards.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The emotion of nonviolence was building in him until it became a prejudice like any other thought-stultifying prejudice. To inflict any hurt on anything for any purpose became inimical to him. He became obsessed with this emotion, for such it surely was, until it blotted out any possible thinking in its area. But never was there any hint of cowardice in Adam’s army record. Indeed he was commended three times and then decorated for bravery.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “All in all it was a good firm-grounded family, permanent, and successfully planted in the Salinas Valley, not poorer than many and not richer than many either. It was a well-balanced family with its conservatives and its radicals, its dreamers and its realists. Samuel was well pleased with the fruit of his loins.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Cathy spoke very quietly. “Adam, I didn’t want to come here. I am not going to stay here. As soon as I can I will go away.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Yes, I can understand that. It must be a hard thing to kill a man you don’t know and don’t hate.” “Maybe that makes it easier,” said Louis. “You have a point, Louis. But some men are friends with the whole world in their hearts, and there are others that hate themselves and spread their hatred around like butter on hot bread.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “And her eyes were on the highway, where life whizzed by.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “He had an idea that even when beaten he could steal a little victory by laughing at defeat.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “It is true that we are weak and sick and ugly and quarrelsome but if that is all we ever were, we would millenniums ago have disappeared from the face of the earth.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “So many old and lovely things are stored in the world’s attic because we don’t want them around us and we don’t dare throw them out.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “There is nothing pleasanter than spading when the ground is soft and damp.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “There are people who will say that this whole account is a lie, but a thing isn’t necessarily a lie even if it didn’t necessarily happen.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “You stay out here a little while, an’ if you smell any roses, you come let me smell, too.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “If a man ordered a beer milkshake he’d better do it in a town where he wasn’t known.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Socialism never took root in America.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “These words dropped into my childish mind as if you should accidentally drop a ring into a deep well. I did not think of them much at the time, but there came a day in my life when the ring was fished up out of the well, good as new.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Her great-great-great-great-great grandmother had been burned as a witch.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The break would never come as long as fear could turn to wrath.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “One of the laws of paleontology is that an animal which must protect itself with thick armour is degenerate. It is usually a sign that the species is on the road to extinction.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Lanser said, “There are no peaceful people, when will you learn it? There are no friendly people, can’t you understand that?”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Any man of reasonable intelligence can make money if that’s what he wants. Mostly it’s women or clothes or admiration he really wants and they deflect him.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “It was well known that Liza Hamilton and the Lord God held similar convictions on nearly every subject.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The fields were fruitful, and starving men moved on the roads.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “A question is a trap and an answer is your foot in it.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “I have no interest in the printed word. I would continue to write if there were no writing and no print. I put my words down for a matter of memory. They are more made to be spoken than to be read.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “It is one of the triumphs of the human that he can know a thing and still not believe it.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The misery stayed, not thought about but aching away, and sometimes I would have to ask myself, Why do I ache? Men can get used to anything, but it takes time.”
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