John Steinbeck

John
Steinbeck
1902
1968

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

Author Quotes

Well, suppose there?s a slight doubt that the boy should be in the army and we send him and he gets killed.

What the hell kind of bed you giving us, anyways? We don't want no pants rabbits.

When shoes and clothes and food, when hope is gone we'll all have the rifle.

When you?re a child you?re the center of everything. Everything happens for you. Other people? They?re only ghosts furnished for you to talk to. But when you grow up you take your place and you?re your own size and shape. Things go out of you to others and come in from other people. It?s worse, but it?s much better too.

Why, a trick horse is kind of like an actor?no dignity, no character of his own.

Well, what are you doing this kind of work for--against your own people? Three dollars a day. I got damn sick of creeping for my dinner--and not getting it. I got a wife and kids. We got to eat. Three dollars a day and it comes every day. But for your three dollars a day fifteen or twenty families can't eat at all. Nearly a hundred people have to go and wander on the roads for your three dollars a day. Is that right? Can't think of that. Got to think of my own kids.

What we knew is dead, and maybe the greatest part of what we were is dead. What's out there is new and perhaps good, but it's nothing we know.

When the fair gold morning of April stirred Mary Hawley awake, she turned over to her husband and saw him, little fingers pulling a frog mouth at her.

When you're a child you're the center of everything. Other people? They're only ghosts furnished for you to talk to. But when you grow up you take your place and you're your own size and shape. Things go out of you to others and come in from other people. It's worse, but it's much better too.

Why, Jesus Christ, Ma, they comes a time when the on'y way a fella can keep his decency is by takin' a sock at a cop.

Well, you ain?t never gonna know. Casy tries to tell ya an? you jest ast the same thing over. I seen fellas like you before. You ain?t askin? nothin?; you?re jus? singin? a kinda song. ?What we comin? to?? You don? wanta know. Country?s movin? aroun?, goin? places. They?s folks dyin? all aroun?. Maybe you?ll die pretty soon, but you won?t know nothin?. I seen too many fellas like you. You don?t want to know nothin?. Just sing yourself to sleep with a song? ?What we comin? to??

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.

When the radio was on, music has stimulated memory of times and places, complete with characters and stage sets, memories so exact that every word of dialogue is recreated. And I have projected future scenes, just as complete and convincing--scenes that will never take place. I've written short stories in my mind, chuckling at my own humor, saddened or stimulated by structure or content.

When you're a kid, you're in the center of all things. Everything happens for you. Other people? These are just ghosts made ??available to you as you speak them. But when you grow, you take your place and you get so far and your own form. Some things you start to others and I come to you from others. It's bad, but it's so much better

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.' 'We take a beatin' all the time.' 'I know.' Ma chuckled. 'Maybe that makes us tough. Rich fellas come up an' they die, an' their kids ain't no good, an' they die out. But, Tom, we keep a-comin'. Don' you fret none, Tom. A different time's comin'.

There you have the difference between greatness and mediocrity. It's not an uncommon disease. But it's nice for a mediocre man to know that greatness must be the loneliest state in the world.

They had long ago found out that one could not be an owner unless one were cold.

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 so lonely anymore. An? then a hurt don?t hurt so bad.

This was an evil beyond thinking. The killing of a man was not so evil as the killing of a boat. For a boat does not have sons, and a boat cannot protect itself, and a wounded boat does not heal.

To attempt to force them into a peonage of starvation and intimidated despair will be unsuccessful. They can be citizens of the highest type, or they can be an army driven by suffering and hatred to take what they need. On their future treatment will depend which course they will be forced to take.

Two features would be with her ??always. Her chin was firm and her mouth was as sweet as a flower and very wide and pink. Her hazel eyes Were sharp and Intelligent Completely and Fearless.

We do know that we are cheated from birth to the overcharge on our coffins.

We think of strangers as stronger and better than we are.

There?s a capacity for appetite, Samuel said, that a whole heaven and earth of cake can?t satisfy.

They had spoken once, but there is no need for speech if it is only a habit anyway. Kino sighed with satisfaction -- and that was conversation.

Author Picture
First Name
John
Last Name
Steinbeck
Birth Date
1902
Death Date
1968
Bio

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