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Top 500 John Steinbeck Quotes (2023 Update)
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John Steinbeck Quote: “Up ahead they’s a thousan’ lives we might live, but when it comes, it’ll on’y be one. If I go ahead on all of ’em, it’s too much.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “I was mean life a wolf. Now i’m mean like a weasel. When you’re huntin’ somepin you’re a hunter, an’ you’re strong. Can’t nobody beat a hunter. But when you get hunted – that’s different. Somepin happens to you. You ain’t strong; maybe you’re fierce, but you ain’t strong. I been hunted now for a long time. I ain’t no hunter no more.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “For it is my opinion that we enclose and celebrate the freaks of our nation and our civilization. Yellowstone National Park is no more representative of America than is Disneyland.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “I hope you know what you’re doing when you issue me a license to talk. I’ve heard two ways of looking at it. One says the silent man is the wise man and the other that a man without words is a man without thought. Naturally I favor the second.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “And her joy was nearly like sorrow.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The bank – the monster has to have profits all the time. It can’t wait. It’ll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can’t stay one size.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “And just as there are physical monsters, can there not be mental or psychic monsters born? The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Now farming became industry, and the owners followed Rome, although they did not know it. They imported slaves, although they did not call them slaves: Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, Filipinos. They live on rice and beans, the business men said. They don’t need much.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The Mexican War was a training ground for generals, so that when the sad self-murders settled on us, the leaders knew the techniques for making it properly horrible.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “He was born in Bercy on the outskirts of Paris and trained in France, and while he knows a little Poodle-English, he responds quickly only to commands in French. Otherwise he has to translate, and that slows him down.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “I know people who are so immersed in road maps that they never see the countryside they pass through, and others who, having traced a route, are held to it as though held by flanged wheels to rails.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “And I here make a rule-a great and lasting story is about everyone or it will not last. The strange and foreign is not interesting-only the deeply personal and familiar.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “But to find where you are going, you must know where you are, and I didn’t.”
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.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “You ain’t worth a greased lack pin to ram you into hell.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “I hope I’m not so small-souled as to take satisfaction in being missed.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Men really do need sea-monsters in their personal oceans.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “To a monster the norm must seem monstrous, since everyone is normal to himself.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Change was everywhere. People were gone, or changed, and that was almost like being gone.”
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.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Once a woman told me that colored flowers would seem more bright if you added a few white flowers to give the colors definition. Every petal of blue lupin is edged with white, so that a field of lupins is more blue than you can imagine.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “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.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “A fallow field is a sin.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Riches seem to come to the poor in spirit, the poor in interest and joy. To put it straight – the very rich are a poor bunch of bastards.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The people don’t like to be conquered, sir, and so they will not be. Free men cannot start a war, but once it is started, they can fight on in defeat. Herd men, followers of a leader, cannot do that, and so it is always the herd men who win battles and the free men who win wars. You will find that is so, sir.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “He drank too much when he could get it, ate too much when it was there, talked too much all the time.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The impulse of the American woman to geld her husband and castrate her sons is very strong.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Her dark eyes made little reflected stars. She was looking at him as she was always looking.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Sure, cried the tenant men, but it’s our land. We measured it and broke it up. We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours. That’s what makes it ours-being born on it, working it, dying on it.”
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.”
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.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “You’ve seen the sun flatten and take strange shapes just before it sinks in the ocean. Do you have to tell yourself every time that it’s an illusion caused by atmospheric dust and light distorted by the sea, or do you simply enjoy the beauty of it?”
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.”
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.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby those fruits may be eaten.”
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.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “We have to make a mark, even if it’s only a scribble.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “People like you to be something, preferably what they are.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Imperturbability could be depended upon. And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “To hell with that rotten century! Let’s get it over and the door closed shut on it! Let’s close it like a book and go on reading! New chapter, new life. A man will have clean hands once we get the lid slammed shut on that stinking century. It’s a fair thing ahead. There’s no rot on this clean new hundred years. It’s not stacked, and any bastard who deals seconds from this new deck of years – why, we’ll crucify him head down over a privy.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Love and fighting, and a little wine. Then you are always young, always happy.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The great concepts of oneness and of majestic order seem always to be born in the desert.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything.”
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.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “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. I think this is the only story we have.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Misfortune is a fact of nature acceptable to women, especially when it falls on other women.”
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