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Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by John Steinbeck. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for John Steinbeck

John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author and the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature winner "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." He has been called "a giant of American letters", and many of his works are considered classics of Western literature.

During his writing career, he authored 33 books, with one book coauthored alongside Edward Ricketts, including 16 novels, six non-fiction books, and two collections of short stories. He is widely known for the comic novels Tortilla Flat (1935) and Cannery Row (1945), the multi-generation epic East of Eden (1952), and the novellas The Red Pony (1933) and Of Mice and Men (1937). The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath (1939) is considered Steinbeck's masterpiece and part of the American literary canon. In the first 75 years after it was published, it sold 14 million copies.

Most of Steinbeck's work is set in central California, particularly in the Salinas Valley and the California Coast Ranges region. His works frequently explored the themes of fate and injustice, especially as applied to downtrodden or everyman protagonists.

person in black and white polka dot coat holding black rifle

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

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Florida is a golden word...The very name Florida carried the message of warmth and ease and comfort. It was irresistible.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

You don't even know where I'm going. I don't care. I'd like to go anywhere.

--John Steinbeck

Longer Version:

New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous.
But there is one thing about it -- once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.


photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

A man on a horse is spiritually, as well as physically, bigger than a man on foot.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

The bank, the monster has to have profits all the time. It can't wait. It'll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can't stay one size.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

You know what it is? San Francisco is a golden handcuff with the key thrown away.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Being at ease with himself put him at ease with the world.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

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

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Open blooms like ballet-skirted ladies.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

We gather our arms full of guilt as though it were precious stuff. It must be that we want it that way.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

As with many people, Charles, who could not talk, wrote with fullness. He set down his loneliness and his perplexities, and he put on paper many things he did not know about himself.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

It is astounding to find that the belly of every black and evil thing is white as snow. And it is saddening to discover how the concealed parts of angels are leprous.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

We're sorry. It's not us. It's the monster. The bank isn't a man. The bank isn't like a man.
Yes, but the bank is only made of men.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

But Doc had one mental habit he could not get over. When anyone asked a question, Doc thought he wanted to know the answer.

--John Steinbeck



photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

I've lived in a good climate, and it bores the hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate.

--John Steinbeck

photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

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

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Socialism is just another form of religion, and thus delusional.

--John Steinbeck

photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

And the women who had thought they wanted dresses never realized that what they had wanted was happiness.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

I had been practicing for the Depression a long time. I wasn't involved with loss. I didn't have money to lose, but in common with millions I did dislike hunger and cold.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

I have noticed that there is no dissatisfaction like that of the rich. Feed a man, clothe him, put him in a good house, and he will die of despair.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

It's one of the great fallacies, it seems to me, that time gives much of anything but years and sadness to man.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

For how can you remember the feel of pleasure or pain or choking emotion? You can remember only that you had them.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

A farmer cannot think too much evil of a good farmer.

--John Steinbeck

photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

In a world that was not easy for Alice to bear or understand, flies were the final and malicious burden laid upon her.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

I wanta buy stuff. Stuff I don't need... Stuff settin' out there, you jus' feel like buyin' it whether you need it or not.
-Uncle John.

--John Steinbeck

photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

But think of the glory of the choice! That makes a man a man. A cat has no choice, a bee must make honey. There's no godliness there.

--John Steinbeck



photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Tom's cowardice was as huge as his courage, as it must be in great men.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Man has become our greatest hazard, and our only hope.

--John Steinbeck



photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Sexuality with all its attendant yearnings and pains, jealousies and taboos, is the most disturbing impulse humans have.

--John Steinbeck

photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

They had not grown up in the paradoxes of industry. Their senses were still sharp to the ridiculousness of the industrial life.

--John Steinbeck

photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

In human affairs of danger and delicacy successful conclusion is sharply limited by hurry.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

We will rich soon, and you who handle poverty badly will handle riches equally badly... In poverty she is envious. In riches she may be a snob. Money does not change the sickness, only the symptoms.

--John Steinbeck


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Within that frame he went a long way and burned a deep scar.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

What hidden, hoarded longings there are in all of us.

--John Steinbeck

photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Trouble with mice is you always kill 'em.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

We could live offa the fatta the lan'.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Well, I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy. I just like to know what your interest is.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Books ain't no good. A guy needs somebody -- to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

If I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an' work, an' no trouble.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

I do love her, and that's odd because she is everything I detest in anyone else.

--John Steinbeck

photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

And the great owners, who had become through the might of their holdings both more and less than men.

--John Steinbeck

photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

The bank -- the monster has to have profits all the time. It can't wait. It'll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can't stay one size.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

To the heavens on the wings of a pig.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

The names of places carry a charge of the people who named them.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Prayer never brought in no side-meat. Takes a shoat to bring in pork.

--John Steinbeck




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It gives a fella relief to tell, but it jus' spreads out his sin.

--John Steinbeck



photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

When two men live together they usually maintain a kind of shabby neatness out of incipient rage at each other. Two men alone are constantly on the verge of fighting, and they know it.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

But Kino had lost his old world and he must clamber on to a new one. For his dream of the future was real and never to be destroyed, and he said I will go, and that made a real thing too.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

The doctrine of our time is that man can't get along without a whole hell of a lot of stuff. You may not be preaching it, but you're living treason.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

How can the poem and the stink and the grating noise -- the quality of light, the tone, the habit and the dream -- be set down alive?

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Only God sees the sparrow fall, but even God doesn't do anything about it.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

I wish to God I knew as much about writing as I did when I was 19. I was absolutely certain about most things then. Also, I suspect, more accurate.

--John Steinbeck


photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

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



photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

It is one of the triumphs of the human that he can know a thing and still not believe it.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Oh, the strawberries don't taste as they used to and the thighs of women have lost their clutch!

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

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
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?

--John Steinbeck


photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

In writing, habit seems to be a much stronger force than either willpower or inspiration.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

Kino heard the little splash of morning waves on the beach. It was very good -- Kino closed his eyes again to listen to his music.

--John Steinbeck

photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

The break would never come as long as fear could turn to wrath.

--John Steinbeck
photo of author John Steinbeck with quote

It's hard to split a man down the middle and always to reach for the same half.

--John Steinbeck

We wish you a perfect day!