Wednesday, April 10, 2013

John Steinbeck Quotes

As my John Steinbeck class ends, my teacher has asked us to compile a few of our favorite quotes from each of the novels we've read.  I've decided to post them here to perhaps inspire those of you who've never read him to do so!

Tortilla Flat

“‘Thou knowest not what bitches women are,’ Danny said wisely.”—pg. 17

“‘Happiness is better than riches,’ said Pilon.”—pg. 77

“She was a lady, and her conduct was governed by very strict rules of propriety.  If Danny should walk by, now, if they should talk, like the old friends they were, if he should come in for a social glass of wine; and then, if nature proved too strong, and her feminine resistance too weak, there was no grave breach of propriety.  But it was unthinkable to leave her web on the front gate.”—pg.83

“‘I like it,’ said Pablo.  ‘I like it because it hasn’t any meaning you can see, and still it does seem to mean something, I can’t tell what.”—pg.140.

“A little love is like a little wine.  Too much of either will make a man sick.”—pg. 143

Of Mice and Men

“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”—pg. 32

“‘He’s a nice fella,’ said Slim.  ‘Guy don’t need no sense to be a nice fella.  Seems to me sometimes it jus’ works the other way around.  Take a real smart guy and he ain’t hardly ever a nice fella.’”—pg. 38

“Lennie said softly, ‘We could live offa the fatta the lan’.’”—pg. 54

“‘You… an’ me.  Ever’body gonna be nice to you.  Ain’t gonna be no more trouble.  Nobody gonna hurt nobody nor steal from ‘em.’
Lennie said, ‘I thought you was mad at me, George.’
‘No,’ said George. “No, Lennie.  I ain’t mad.  I never been mad, an’ I ain’t now.  That’s a thing I want ya to know.’”—pg. 101

The Grapes of Wrath

“The hell with it!  There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue.  There’s just stuff people do.  It’s all part of the same thing.  And some of the things folks do is nice, and some ain’t nice, but that’s as far as any man got a right to say.”—pg. 23

“This here ol’ man just’ lived a life an’ jus’ died out of it.  I don’ know whether he was good or bad, but that don’t matter much.  He was alive, an’ that’s what matters. […] An’ I wouldn’ pray for a ol’ fella that’s dead.  He’s awright.  He got a job to do, but it’s all laid out for ‘im an’ there’s on’y one way to do it.  But us, we got a job to do, an’ they’s a thousan’ ways, an’ we don’ know which way to turn.”—pg. 144

“This you may say of man—when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes.  Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back.  This you may say and know it and know it.”—pg. 150

“‘Easy,’ she said.  ‘You got to have patience.  Why, Tom—us people will go on livin’ when all them people is gone.  Why, Tom, we’re the people that live.  They ain’t gonna wipe us out.  Why, we’re the people—we go on.’”—pg. 280

“In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”—pg. 349

East of Eden

“Maybe we all have in us a secret pond where evil and ugly things germinate and grow strong.  But this culture is fenced, and the swimming brood climbs up only to fall back.  Might it not be that in the dark pools of some men the evil grows strong enough to wriggle over the fence and swim free?  Would not such a man be our monster, and are we not related to him in our hidden water?  It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them.”—pg. 132

“The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears.  I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection.  And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt—and there is the story of mankind.”—pg. 268

“This is not theology.  I have no bent toward gods.  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.’”—pg. 302

“It is true that we are weak and sick and quarrelsome, but if that is all we ever were, we would, millenniums ago, have disappeared from the face of the earth.”—pg. 307

“In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved.  Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. […] And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal.  Vice has always a fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.”—pgs. 412-413

The Pearl

“And this was part of the family song too.  Sometimes it rose to an aching chord that caught the throat, saying this is safety, this is warmth, this is the Whole.”—pg. 5

“Every man suddenly became related to Kino’s pearl, and Kino’s pearl went into the dreams, the speculations, the schemes, the plans, the futures, the wishes, the needs, the lusts, the hungers, of everyone, and only one person stood in the way and that was Kino, so that he became curiously every man’s enemy.”—pg. 23

“A plan is a real thing, and things projected are experienced.  A plan once made and visualized becomes a reality along with other realities—never to be destroyed but easily to be attacked.”—pg. 28

“Sometimes the quality of woman, the reason, the caution, the sense of preservation, could cut through Kino’s manness and save them all.”—pg. 59

“The people say that the two seemed to be removed from human experience; that they had gone through pain and had come out on the other side; that there was almost a magical protection about them.”—pg. 85

The Winter of Our Discontent

“Can a man think out his life, or must he just tag along?”—pg. 36

“And I remember thinking what a hell of a man a man could become.”—pg. 65

“I think I believe that a man is changing all the time.  But there are certain moments when the change becomes noticeable.”—pg. 87

“Has sin gone on strike for a wage raise?”—pg. 275

“It isn’t true that there’s a community of light, a bonfire of the world.  Everyone carries his own, his lonely own.  […] My light is out.  There’s nothing blacker than a wick.”—pg. 279

Travels with Charley

“For I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten to 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.  I did not want to surrender fierencess…”—pg. 13

“For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?”—pg. 25

“Yellowstone National Park is no more representative of America than is Disneyland.”—pg. 117

“I wonder why progress looks so much like destruction.”—pg. 132

“Officer, I’ve driven this thing all over the country—mountains, plains, desserts.  And now I’m back in my own town, where I live—and I’m lost.”—pg. 202

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails