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Top 500 John Steinbeck Quotes (2022 Update)
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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: “The craft of writing is the art of penetrating other minds with the figures that are in your own mind.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “It’s a thing to see when a boy comes home. It’s a thing to see.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “And this is about the way the Salinas Valley was when my grandfather brought his wife and settled in the foothills to the east of King City.”
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: “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: “The impulse of the American woman to geld her husband and castrate her sons is very strong.”
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: “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: “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: “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 Quote: “A fallow field is a sin.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “So much there is to see, but our morning eyes describe a different world than do our afternoon eyes, and surely our wearied evening eyes can report only a weary evening world.”
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.”
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: “Yeah,” said George. “I’ll come. But listen, Curley. The poor bastard’s nuts. Don’t shoot ‘im. He di’n’t know what he was doin’.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
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: “There is nothing pleasanter than spading when the ground is soft and damp.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Prayer never brought in no side-meat. Takes a shoat to bring in pork.”
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.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “If you want to keep a friend, never test him.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The quick pain of truth can pass away, but the slow, eating agony of a lie is never lost.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The great concepts of oneness and of majestic order seem always to be born in the desert.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Men seem to be born with a debt they can never pay no matter how hard they try.”
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: “I climb fences when i got fences to climb.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Some men ease themselves like setting hens into the nest of death.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.”
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: “I hope I’m not so small-souled as to take satisfaction in being missed.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “We have to make a mark, even if it’s only a scribble.”
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: “On all levels American society is rigged. I am troubled by the cynical immorality of my country. It cannot survive on this basis.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Her dark eyes made little reflected stars. She was looking at him as she was always looking.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The study of history, while it does not endow with prophecy, may indicate lines of probability.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Don’t ever ask directions of a Maine native,” I was told. “Why ever not?” “Somehow we think it is funny to misdirect people and we don’t smile when we do it, but we laugh inwardly. It is our nature.” I wonder if that is true. I could never test it, because through my own efforts I am lost most of the time without any help from anyone.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influences and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “And Tom brought him chicken soup until he wanted to kill him. The lore has not died out of the world, and you will still find people who believe that soup will cure any hurt or illness and is no bad thing to have for the funeral either.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “It was well known that Liza Hamilton and the Lord God held similar convictions on nearly every subject.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Love and fighting, and a little wine. Then you are always young, always happy.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Don’t make everyone know about your sadness.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “When I was a child growing up in Salinas we called San Francisco “the City”. Of course it was the only city we knew, but I still think of it as the City, and so does everyone else who has ever associated with it. A strange and exclusive work is “city”. Besides San Francisco, only small sections of London and Rome stay in the mind as the City. New Yorkers say they are going to town. Paris has no title but Paris. Mexico City is the Capital. p197.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “There is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter.”
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: “For the most part people are not curious except about themselves.”
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: “I’ve always taken my hangovers as consequence, not as a punishment.”
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