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Top 500 John Steinbeck Quotes (2024 Update)
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John Steinbeck Quote: “They’s a time of change, an’ when that comes, dyin’ is a piece of all dyin’, and bearin’ is a piece of all bearin’, an’ bearin’ an’ dyin’ is two pieces of the same thing. An’ then things ain’t lonely any more. An’ then a hurt don’t hurt so bad, ’cause it ain’t a lonely hurt no more, Rosasharn. I wisht I could tell you so you’d know, but I can’t.’’ And her voice was so soft, so full of love, that tears crowded into Rose of Sharon’s eyes, and flowed over her eyes and blinded her.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “I hope I’m not so small-souled as to take satisfaction in being missed.”
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: “In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.”
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: “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: “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: “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: “I don’t very much believe in blood,” said Samuel. “I think when a man finds good or bad in his children he is seeing only what he planted in them after they cleared the womb.” “You can’t make a race horse of a pig.” “No,” said Samuel, “but you can make a very fast pig.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “There can’t be any world without Samuel. How could we think about anything without knowing what he thought about it? What would the spring be like, or Christmas, or rain? There couldn’t be a Christmas.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “I climb fences when i got fences to climb.”
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: “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: “Her dark eyes made little reflected stars. She was looking at him as she was always looking.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The ancient commission of the writer has not changed. He is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement.”
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: “You ain’t worth a greased lack pin to ram you into hell.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The impulse of the American woman to geld her husband and castrate her sons is very strong.”
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: “Don’t make everyone know about your sadness.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The great concepts of oneness and of majestic order seem always to be born in the desert.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Prayer never brought in no side-meat. Takes a shoat to bring in pork.”
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: “The proofs that God does not exist are very strong, but in lots of people they are not as strong as the feeling that He does.”
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: “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: “We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
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.”
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: “I see hundreds of men come by on the road an’ on the ranches with their bindles on their back an’ that same damn thing in their heads. Hundreds of them. They come, an’ they quit an’ go on; an’ every damn one of ‘em’s got a little piece of land in his head. An’ never a God damn one of ‘em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’. I read plenty of books out there. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody never gets no land. It’s just in their head.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Men all do about the same thing when they wake up.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Curley’s wife lay with a half-covering of yellow hay. And the meanness and the plannings and the discontent and the ache for attention were all gone from her face. She was pretty and simple, and her face was sweet and young. Now her rouged cheeks and reddened lips made her seem alive and sleeping very lightly. The curls, tiny little sausages, were spread on the hay behind her head and her lips were parted.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “The nicest thing in the world you can do for anybody is let them help you.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “A wife is like a children’s movie; always under-appreciated and without either, life would be incomplete.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Men seem to be born with a debt they can never pay no matter how hard they try.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “There was a huge moon over the western mountains, and it made the city seem even more mysterious and old, and the great black castle on the ridge stood out in front of the moon. And if there are ghosts anyplace in the world, they must be here, and if there is a ghost of Queen Tamara, she must have been walking the ridge in the moonlight that night.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “It’s hard to split a man down the middle and always to reach for the same half.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “He was born in fury and he lived in lightning.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “If you want to keep a friend, never test him.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Just as our bread, mixed and baked, packaged and sold without benefit of accident or human frailty, is uniformly good and uniformly tasteless, so will our speech become one speech.”
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: “I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “Like most passionate nations, Texas has its own history based on, but not limited by, facts.”
John Steinbeck Quote: “For the most part people are not curious except about themselves.”
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: “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: “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: “It was too nerve-wracking, a shocking spectacle, like seeing an old, calm friend go insane.”
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