John Steinbeck Quotes & Wallpapers

John Steinbeck
Total Quotes: 785


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

Perhaps the best conversationalist in the world is the man who helps others to talk. John Steinbeck

Yes, you should talk," he said. "Sometimes a sad man can talk the sadness right out through his mouth. Sometimes a killin' man can talk the murder right out of his mouth. John Steinbeck

Act out being alive, like a play. And after a while, a long while, it will be true. John Steinbeck

In the streets of New York between seven and nine in the morning you will see the slow procession of dog and downer proceeding from street to tree to hydrant to trash basket. They are apartment dogs. They are taken out twice a day, and, while it is a cliche, it is truly amazing how owner and dog resemble each other. They grow to walk alike and have the same set of head. John Steinbeck

There's a responsibility in being a person. It's more than just taking up space where air would be. John Steinbeck

When the time for recognition of service to the nation in wartime comes to be considered, Bob Hope should be high on the list. This man drives himself and is driven. It is impossible to see how he can do so much, can cover so much ground, can work so hard, and can be so effective. He works month after month at a pace that would kill most people. John Steinbeck

He learned that when people are very poor they still have something to give and the impulse to give it. John Steinbeck

And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good. John Steinbeck

We don't take a trip. A trip takes us. John Steinbeck

I have written a great many stories and I still don't know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances. John Steinbeck

A man who gets few letters does not open one lightly. John Steinbeck

The story [Henny-Penny] has the best opening in all literature-"The sky is falling," cried Henny-Penny, "and a piece of it fell on my tail. John Steinbeck

A Texan outside of Texas is a foreigner. John Steinbeck

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness? You only truly, deeply appreciate and are grateful for something when you compare and contrast it to something worse. John Steinbeck

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." - Muley John Steinbeck

A town is a thing like a colonial animal. A town has a nervous system and a head and shoulders and feet. A town is a thing separate from all other towns alike. And a town has a whole emotion. How news travels through a town is a mystery not easily to be solved. News seems to move faster than small boys can scramble and dart to tell it, faster than women can call it over the fences. John Steinbeck

Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. John Steinbeck

I have wondered why is it that some people are less affected and torn by the verities of life and death that others. John Steinbeck

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

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policies and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. John Steinbeck

The lies we tell about our duty and our purposes, the meaningless words of science and philosophy, are walls that topple before a bewildered little "why". John Steinbeck

It is the nature of a person as he/she grows older to protest against change, particularly changes for the better. John Steinbeck

Just set one day's work in front of the last day's work. That's the way it comes out. And that's the only way it does. John Steinbeck

Trips to fairly unknown regions should be made twice; once to make mistakes and once to correct them. John Steinbeck

Americans are much more American than they are Northerners, Southerners, Westerners, or Easterners ... California Chinese, Boston Irish, Wisconsin German, yes, Alabama Negroes, have more in common than they have apart ... The American identity is an exact and provable thing. John Steinbeck

Wherever they's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever they's a cop beating up a guy, I'll be there.... I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad an'-I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry an' they know supper's ready. An' when our folks eat the stuff they raise an' live in the houses they build-why, I'll be there. John Steinbeck

When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was upon me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. John Steinbeck

I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. John Steinbeck

Nobody changes. Nobody gets hurt. John Steinbeck

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. Everyone takes what he wants or can from it and thus changes it to his measure. Some pick out parts and reject the rest, some strain the story through their mesh of prejudice, some paint it with their own delight. A story must have some points of contact with the reader to make him feel at home in it. Only then can he accept wonders. John Steinbeck

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. John Steinbeck

I find it valid to understand man as an animal before I am prepared to know him as a man. John Steinbeck

No one wants advice - only corroboration. John Steinbeck

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. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. John Steinbeck

There is nothing in the world like the first taste of beer. John Steinbeck

He is so stupid you can't trust him with an idea. John Steinbeck

I am writing this from what we Americans call Yurrp. In Yurrp writers are taken as seriously as Lana Turner's legs are in America - a ridiculous situation. John Steinbeck

There is no lostness like that which comes to a man when a perfect and certain pattern has dissolved about him. John Steinbeck

A good writer always works at the impossible.There is another kind who pulls in his horizons, drops his mind as one lowers rifle sights. John Steinbeck

It seems to me Montana is a great splash of grandeur. The scale is huge but not overpowering. The land is rich with grass and color, and the mountains are the kind I would create if mountains were ever put on my agenda. John Steinbeck

Learning to read is probably the most difficult and revolutionary thing that happens to the human brain and if you don't believe that, watch an illiterate adult try to do it. John Steinbeck

If a man ordered a beer milkshake he'd better do it in a town where he wasn't known. John Steinbeck

Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans. John Steinbeck

To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth. John Steinbeck

People do not want advice - they want corroboration. John Steinbeck

I know a little bit about a great many things and not enough about any one to make a living in these times. John Steinbeck

The sale of souls to gain the whole world is completely voluntary and almost unanimous...but not quite. John Steinbeck

There's a capacity for appetite... that a whole heaven and earth of cake can't satisfy John Steinbeck

I seen it over an' over-a guy talkin' to another guy and it don't make no difference if he don't hear or understand. The thing is, they're talkin', or they're settin' still not talkin'. It don't make no difference, no difference. [...] George can tell you screwy things, and it don't matter. It's just the talking. It's just bein' with another guy. That's all. John Steinbeck

In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. John Steinbeck

Change was everywhere. People were gone, or changed, and that was almost like being gone. John Steinbeck

It is not good to want a thing too much. It sometimes drives the luck away. You must want it just enough, and you must be very tactful with Gods or the gods. John Steinbeck

There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you - of kindness and consideration and respect - not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had. John Steinbeck in Steinbeck: A Life in Letters John Steinbeck

We know what we got, and we don't care whether you know it or not. John Steinbeck

My wife, my Mary, goes to her sleep the way you would close the door of a closet. So many times I have watched her with envy. Her lovely body squirms a moment as though she fitted herself into a cocoon. She sighs once and at the end of it her eyes close and her lips, untroubled, fall into that wise and remote smile of the Ancient Greek gods. She smiles all night in her sleep, her breath purrs in her throat, not a snore, a kitten's purr... She loves to sleep and sleep welcomes her. John Steinbeck

Wherever they's a fight so hungry people can eat, I"ll be there. Wherever they's a cop beatin" up a guy, I"ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I"ll be in the way guys yell when they"re mad an"-I"ll be in the way kids laugh when they"re hungry n" they know supper's ready. An" when our folks eat the stuff they raise an" live in the houses they build-why, I"ll be there. John Steinbeck

Dear Lord,' he said. 'let me be like Aron. Do' make me mean. I do' want to be. If you will let everybody like me, why, I"ll give you anything in the world, and if I have' got it, why, I"ll go for to get it. I do' want to be mean. I do' want to be lonely. For Jesus" sake, Amen. John Steinbeck

When I was very young and the urge to be someplace was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. In other words, I don't improve, in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable. John Steinbeck

I am in love with Montana... Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans. John Steinbeck

In literary criticism the critic has no choice but to make over the victim of his attention into something the size and shape of himself. John Steinbeck

Why don't you go on west to California? There's work there, and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick an orange. Why, there's always some kind of crop to work in. Why don't you go there? John Steinbeck

Death was a friend, and sleep was Death's brother. John Steinbeck

I wonder why progress looks so much like destruction. John Steinbeck

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. John Steinbeck

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. John Steinbeck

Our people are good people; our people are kind people. Pray God some day kind people won't all be poor. John Steinbeck

'I know,' said Winter, 'but they don't know.' And he went on with a thought he had been having. 'A time-minded people,' he said, 'and the time is nearly up. They think that just because they have only one leader and one head, we are all like that. They know that ten heads lopped off will destroy them, but we are a free people; we have as many heads as we have people, and in a time of need leaders pop up among us like mushrooms.' John Steinbeck

A boy gets to be a man when a man is needed. Remember this thing. I have known boys forty years old because there was no need for a man: John Steinbeck

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do...Try to be better than yourself. John Steinbeck



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