Top 50+John Steinbeck Quotes

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Who is John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was an American novelist who is known for works such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ as well as ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘East of Eden.

John Steinbeck was a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and the author of Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. Steinbeck dropped out of college and worked as a manual laborer before achieving success as a writer. His works often dealt with social and economic issues. His 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath, about the migration of a family from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to California, won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Steinbeck served as a war correspondent during World War II, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

John Steinbeck Quotes

1. I would always rather be happy than dignified.

2. Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.

3. All great and precious things are lonely.

4. There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do.

5. I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.

6. And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.

7. It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.

8. I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s
why.

9. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.

10. And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.

11. All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.

12. What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.

13. Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

14. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.

15. I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.

16. Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love.

17. I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . 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. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?

18. When a child first catches adults out — when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just — his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child’s world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.

19. There’s more beauty in truth, even if it is dreadful beauty.

20. It has always seemed strange to me…The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.

21. I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I’ve lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment.

22. I guess there are never enough books.

23. To be alive at all is to have scars.

24. Do you take pride in your hurt? Does it make you seem large and tragic? …Well, think about it. Maybe you’re playing a part on a great stage with only yourself as audience.

25. When two people meet, each one is changed by the other so you’ve got two new people.

26. My imagination will get me a passport to hell one day.

27. Anything that just costs money is cheap.

28. As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.

29. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.

30. A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.

31. No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.

32. Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids.

33. A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid any more.

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

35. A man so painfully in love is capable of self-torture beyond belief.

36. Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power.

37. It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them.

38. If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.

39. I shall revenge myself in the cruelest way you can imagine. I shall forget it.

40. Don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens – The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

41. A guy needs somebody―to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.

42. 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.

43. It was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials.

44. An unbelieved truth can hurt a man much more than a lie. It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There’s a punishment for it, and it’s usually crucifixion.

45. We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the neverending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.

46. Can you honestly love a dishonest thing?

47. When a man says he does not want to speak of something he usually means he can think of nothing else.

48. People who are most afraid of their dreams convince themselves they don’t dream at all.

49. A man without words is a man without thought.

50. Perhaps the less we have, the more we are required to brag.

51. 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?

52. It’s awful not to be loved. It’s the worst thing in the world…It makes you mean, and violent, and cruel.

53. It’s a hard thing to leave any deeply routine life, even if you hate it.

54. Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.

55. You know how advice is – you only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyways.

56. How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past?

57. I am happy to report that in the war between reality and romance, reality is not the stronger.

58. I wonder why progress looks so much like destruction.

59. Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of man. Nothing was ever created by two men. 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. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.

60. You’re bound to get idears if you go thinkin’ about stuff

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