John Steinbeck


American Author of Novels, Non-Fiction and Short Stories, Awarded Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath and Nobel Prize for Literature

Author Quotes

With a few exceptions people don't want money. They want luxury and they want love and they want admiration.

Yes, I?ll be glad. And she said suddenly, There are some times, Joseph, when the love for people is strong and warm like a sorrow. He looked quickly at her in astonishment at her statement of his own thought. How did you think that, dear? I don?t know. Why? Because I was thinking it at that moment ? and there are times when the people and the hills and the earth, all, everything except the stars, are one, and the love of them all is strong like a sadness. Not the stars, then? No, never the stars. The stars are always strangers ? sometimes evil, but always strangers. Smell the sage, Elizabeth. It?s good to be getting home.

You fellas don' know what you're doin. You're helpin to starve kids...You don' know what you're a' doin'.

You think it was a sin to let my wife die like that??? Well,?? said Casy, for anybody else it was a mistake, but if you think it was a sin?then it?s a sin. A fella builds his own sins right up from the groun?.

You're too young a man to be panning memories, Adam. You should be getting yourself some new ones, so that the mining will be richer when you come to age.

With all our horrors and faults, somewhere in us there is a shining.

Yes, it meant something. Then he said, Mr. Trask, do you think the thoughts of people suddenly become important at a given age? Do you have sharper feelings or clearer thoughts now than when you were ten? Do you see as well, hear as well, taste as vitally?

You got a God. Don't make no difference if you don' know what he looks like.

You want I should drive twenty miles because I got roots?

You've never had a quick jump in the hay in your life. I could learn, maybe. You couldn't fornicate if you wanted to. I could try. It would take love or hatred to arouse you, and either one would require a slow and stately procedure.

With all the polls and opinions posts, with newspapers more opinion than news so that we no longer know one from the other...

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.

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.

You was always too busy pullen' little girls' pigtails when I give you the Holy Sperit.

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?

With knowledge there is no hope... without hope I would sit motionless, rusting like unused armor.

Yes, you will. And I will warn you now that not their blood but your suspicion might build evil in them. They will be what you expect of them?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.

You have defied not the pearl buyers, but the whole structure, the whole way of life, and I am afraid for you

You what? Curley?s like a lot of little guys. He hates big guys. He?s alla time picking scraps with big guys. Kind of like he?s mad at ?em because he ain?t a big guy. You seen little guys like that, ain?t you? Always scrappy?

With the evening the air was so full of their song that it was a kind of roaring silence. It was a veil, a background, and its sudden disappearance, as after a clap of thunder, was a shocking thing?In their millions the frog songs seemed to have a beat and a cadence, and perhaps it is the ears? function to do this just as it is the eyes? business to make stars twinkle.

You ain't worth a greased lack pin to ram you into hell.

You keep out of my bed, said Danny, for he knew that Joe Portagee had come to stay. The way he sat in a chair and crossed his knees had an appearance of permanence.

You?re growing up. Maybe that?s it, he said softly. Sometimes I think the world tests us most sharply then, and we turn inward and watch ourselves with horror. But that?s not the worst. We think everybody is seeing into us. Then dirt is very dirty and purity is shining white.

With us it ain?t like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don?t have to sit in no bar room blowin? in our jack jus? because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us.

You are not a man anymore. You are a soldier. Your comfort is of no importance and your life isn?t of much importance. Most of your orders will be unpleasant, but that?s not your business.They should?ve trained you for this, and not for flower-strewn streets. They should have built your soul with truth, not led along with lies.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date
Death Date

American Author of Novels, Non-Fiction and Short Stories, Awarded Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath and Nobel Prize for Literature