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John Steinbeck Quotes
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John Steinbeck Quote: “People like you to be something, preferably what they are.”

People like you to be something, preferably what they are.

— John Steinbeck



John Steinbeck Quote: “Change was everywhere. People were gone, or changed, and that was almost like being gone.”

Change was everywhere. People were gone, or changed, and that was almost like being gone.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “The sad ones are those who waste their energy in trying to hold it back, for they can only feel bitterness in loss and no joy in gain.”

The sad ones are those who waste their energy in trying to hold it back, for they can only feel bitterness in loss and no joy in gain.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “We can shoot rockets into space but we can’t cure anger or discontent.”

We can shoot rockets into space but we can’t cure anger or discontent.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “She had a dour Presbyterian mind and a code of morals that pinned down and beat the brains out of nearly everything that was pleasant to do.”

She had a dour Presbyterian mind and a code of morals that pinned down and beat the brains out of nearly everything that was pleasant to do.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “The impulse of the American woman to geld her husband and castrate her sons is very strong.”

The impulse of the American woman to geld her husband and castrate her sons is very strong.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “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?”

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?

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Charley is a mind-reading dog. There have been many trips in his lifetime, and often he has to be left at home. He knows we are going long before the suitcase has come out, and he paces and worries and whines and goes into a state of mild hysteria.”

Charley is a mind-reading dog. There have been many trips in his lifetime, and often he has to be left at home. He knows we are going long before the suitcase has come out, and he paces and worries and whines and goes into a state of mild hysteria.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “The craft of writing is the art of penetrating other minds with the figures that are in your own mind.”

The craft of writing is the art of penetrating other minds with the figures that are in your own mind.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Well, I remember this girl. I am not whole without her. I am not alive without her. When she was with me I was more alive than I have ever been, and not only when she was pleasant either. Even when we were fighting I was whole.”

Well, I remember this girl. I am not whole without her. I am not alive without her. When she was with me I was more alive than I have ever been, and not only when she was pleasant either. Even when we were fighting I was whole.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Failure is a state of mind. It’s like one of those sand traps an ant lion digs. You keep sliding back. Takes one hell of a jump to get out of it.”

Failure is a state of mind. It’s like one of those sand traps an ant lion digs. You keep sliding back. Takes one hell of a jump to get out of it.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Hard-covered books break up friendships. You loan a hard covered book to a friend and when he doesn’t return it you get mad at him. It makes you mean and petty. But twenty-five cent books are different.”

Hard-covered books break up friendships. You loan a hard covered book to a friend and when he doesn’t return it you get mad at him. It makes you mean and petty. But twenty-five cent books are different.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Men seem to be born with a debt they can never pay no matter how hard they try.”

Men seem to be born with a debt they can never pay no matter how hard they try.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “When a condition or a problem becomes too great, humans have the protection of not thinking about it. But it goes inward and minces up with a lot of other things already there and what comes out is discontent and uneasiness, guilt and a compulsion to get something – anything – before it is all gone.”

When a condition or a problem becomes too great, humans have the protection of not thinking about it. But it goes inward and minces up with a lot of other things already there and what comes out is discontent and uneasiness, guilt and a compulsion to get something – anything – before it is all gone.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I guess this is why I hate governments, all governments. It is always the rule, the fine print, carried out by fine-print men. There’s nothing to fight, no wall to hammer with frustrated fists.”

I guess this is why I hate governments, all governments. It is always the rule, the fine print, carried out by fine-print men. There’s nothing to fight, no wall to hammer with frustrated fists.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “American married life is the doormat to the whorehouse.”

American married life is the doormat to the whorehouse.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “A wife is like a children’s movie; always under-appreciated and without either, life would be incomplete.”

A wife is like a children’s movie; always under-appreciated and without either, life would be incomplete.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “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.”

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.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “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.”

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.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “What do I want in a doctor? Perhaps more than anything else-a friend with special knowledge.”

What do I want in a doctor? Perhaps more than anything else-a friend with special knowledge.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “For there are two possible reactions to social ostracism – either a man emerges determined to be better, purer, and kindlier or he goes bad, challenges the world and does even worse things. The last is by far the commonest reaction to stigma.”

For there are two possible reactions to social ostracism – either a man emerges determined to be better, purer, and kindlier or he goes bad, challenges the world and does even worse things. The last is by far the commonest reaction to stigma.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “He had an idea that even when beaten he could steal a little victory by laughing at defeat.”

He had an idea that even when beaten he could steal a little victory by laughing at defeat.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Some men ease themselves like setting hens into the nest of death.”

Some men ease themselves like setting hens into the nest of death.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.”

We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “A question is a trap and an answer is your foot in it.”

A question is a trap and an answer is your foot in it.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I have wondered why is it that some people are less affected and torn by the verities of life and death that others.”

I have wondered why is it that some people are less affected and torn by the verities of life and death that others.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “The study of history, while it does not endow with prophecy, may indicate lines of probability.”

The study of history, while it does not endow with prophecy, may indicate lines of probability.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “It is a time of quiet joy, the sunny morning. When the glittery dew is on the mallow weeds, each leaf holds a jewel which is beautiful if not valuable. This is no time for hurry or for bustle. Thoughts are slow and deep and golden in the morning.”

It is a time of quiet joy, the sunny morning. When the glittery dew is on the mallow weeds, each leaf holds a jewel which is beautiful if not valuable. This is no time for hurry or for bustle. Thoughts are slow and deep and golden in the morning.

— John Steinbeck


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.”

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


John Steinbeck Quote: “So in our pride we ordered for breakfast an omelet, toast and coffee and what has just arrived is a tomato salad with onions, a dish of pickles, a big slice of watermelon and two bottles of cream soda.”

So in our pride we ordered for breakfast an omelet, toast and coffee and what has just arrived is a tomato salad with onions, a dish of pickles, a big slice of watermelon and two bottles of cream soda.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “There is nothing pleasanter than spading when the ground is soft and damp.”

There is nothing pleasanter than spading when the ground is soft and damp.

— John Steinbeck


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.”

We gather our arms full of guilt as though it were precious stuff. It must be that we want it that way.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “And finally, in our time a beard is the one thing that a woman cannot do better than a man, or if she can her success is assured only in a circus.”

And finally, in our time a beard is the one thing that a woman cannot do better than a man, or if she can her success is assured only in a circus.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Give me a used Bible and I will, I think, be able to tell you about a man by the places that are edged with the dirt of seeking fingers.”

Give me a used Bible and I will, I think, be able to tell you about a man by the places that are edged with the dirt of seeking fingers.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “A funeral isn’t for the dead. You’ll simply be a stage set for a kind of festival maybe. And besides, you won’t even be there.”

A funeral isn’t for the dead. You’ll simply be a stage set for a kind of festival maybe. And besides, you won’t even be there.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Money is not nice. Money got no friends but more money.”

Money is not nice. Money got no friends but more money.

— John Steinbeck


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.”

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


John Steinbeck Quote: “You ain’t worth a greased lack pin to ram you into hell.”

You ain’t worth a greased lack pin to ram you into hell.

— John Steinbeck


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.”

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


John Steinbeck Quote: “The direction of a big act will warp history, but probably all acts do the same in their degree, down to a stone stepped over in the path or the breath caught at sight of a pretty girl or a fingernail nicked in the garden soil.”

The direction of a big act will warp history, but probably all acts do the same in their degree, down to a stone stepped over in the path or the breath caught at sight of a pretty girl or a fingernail nicked in the garden soil.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Nobody changes. Nobody gets hurt.”

Nobody changes. Nobody gets hurt.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I don’t mind getting smacked on the chin. I just don’t want to get nibbled to death. There’s a difference.”

I don’t mind getting smacked on the chin. I just don’t want to get nibbled to death. There’s a difference.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “The first grave. Now we’re getting someplace. Houses and children and graves, that’s home, Tom. Those are the things that hold a man down.”

The first grave. Now we’re getting someplace. Houses and children and graves, that’s home, Tom. Those are the things that hold a man down.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “It requires self-esteem to receive-not self-love but just a pleasant acquaintance and liking for oneself.”

It requires self-esteem to receive-not self-love but just a pleasant acquaintance and liking for oneself.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Men all do about the same thing when they wake up.”

Men all do about the same thing when they wake up.

— John Steinbeck


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.”

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


John Steinbeck Quote: “There’s nothing sadder to me than associations held together by nothing but the glue of postage stamps. If you can’t see or hear or touch a man, it’s best to let him go.”

There’s nothing sadder to me than associations held together by nothing but the glue of postage stamps. If you can’t see or hear or touch a man, it’s best to let him go.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “There is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter.”

There is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “It would be good to live in a perpetual state of leave-taking, never to go nor to stay, but to remain suspended in that golden emotion of love and longing; to be loved without satiety.”

It would be good to live in a perpetual state of leave-taking, never to go nor to stay, but to remain suspended in that golden emotion of love and longing; to be loved without satiety.

— John Steinbeck

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