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Inspirational John Steinbeck Quotes

John Steinbeck (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author. This post features some Inspirational John Steinbeck Quotes.

The winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, he has been called “a giant of American letters”. His works are widely read abroad and many of his works are considered classics of Western literature.

John Steinbeck Quotes
John Steinbeck Quotes

John Steinbeck Quotes

“Man has a choice and it’s a choice that makes him a man.”
― John Steinbeck

“Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create – this is man.”
― John Steinbeck

“All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”
― John Steinbeck

“I shall revenge myself in the cruelest way you can imagine. I shall forget it.”
― John Steinbeck

“I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”
― John Steinbeck

“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.”
― John Steinbeck

“There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do.”
― John Steinbeck

“Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power.”
John Steinbeck

“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”
― John Steinbeck

“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.”
― John Steinbeck

“A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”
― John Steinbeck

“I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why.”
― John Steinbeck

“And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”
― John Steinbeck

“If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.”
― John Steinbeck

“I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.”
― John Steinbeck

“It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.”
― John Steinbeck

“When two people meet, each one is changed by the other so you’ve got two new people.”
― John Steinbeck

“A man so painfully in love is capable of self-torture beyond belief.”
― John Steinbeck

“Don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens – The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”
― John Steinbeck

“To be alive at all is to have scars. ”
John Steinbeck quotes

“People who are most afraid of their dreams convince themselves they don’t dream at all.”
― John Steinbeck

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
― John Steinbeck

“But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.”
― John Steinbeck

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
― John Steinbeck

“Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids.”
― John Steinbeck

“All great and precious things are lonely.”
― John Steinbeck

“How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past?”
― John Steinbeck

“Do you take pride in your hurt? Does it make you seem large and tragic? …Well, think about it. Maybe you’re playing a part on a great stage with only yourself as audience.”
― John Steinbeck

“Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love.”
― John Steinbeck

“Don’t make everyone know about your sadness.”
John Steinbeck quotes

“People like you to be something, preferably what they are.”
― John Steinbeck

“Anything that just costs money is cheap.”
― John Steinbeck

“We can shoot rockets into space but we can’t cure anger or discontent. ”
― John Steinbeck

“Being at ease with himself put him at ease with the world.”
― John Steinbeck

“You know how advice is – you only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyways.”
― John Steinbeck

“It’s a hard thing to leave any deeply routine life, even if you hate it.”
― John Steinbeck

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
― John Steinbeck

“It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them.”
― John Steinbeck

“Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.”
― John Steinbeck

“A man without words is a man without thought.”
― John Steinbeck

“Intention, good or bad, is not enough.”
― John Steinbeck

“Perhaps it takes courage to raise children..”
― John Steinbeck

“He never fell,
never slipped back,
never flew.”
John Steinbeck quotes

“There’s more beauty in truth, even if it is dreadful beauty.”
― John Steinbeck

“No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.”
― John Steinbeck

“No one who is young is ever going to be old.”
― John Steinbeck

“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
― John Steinbeck

“When a man says he does not want to speak of something he usually means he can think of nothing else.”
― John Steinbeck

“I am happy to report that in the war between reality and romance, reality is not the stronger.”
― John Steinbeck

“And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.”
― John Steinbeck

“I guess there are never enough books.”
― John Steinbeck

“So many old and lovely things are stored in the world’s attic because we don’t want them around us and we don’t dare throw them out.”
― John Steinbeck

“Can you honestly love a dishonest thing?”
― John Steinbeck

“An unbelieved truth can hurt a man much more than a lie. It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There’s a punishment for it, and it’s usually crucifixion.”
― John Steinbeck

“I guess I’m trying to say, Grab anything that goes by. It may not come around again.”
― John Steinbeck

“Maybe– maybe love makes you suspicious and doubting. Is it true that when you love a woman you are never sure– never sure of her because you aren’t sure of yourself? ”
― John Steinbeck

“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.”
― John Steinbeck

“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.”
― John Steinbeck

“My imagination will get me a passport to hell one day.”
― John Steinbeck

“Perhaps the less we have, the more we are required to brag.”
― John Steinbeck

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
John Steinbeck quotes

“We value virtue but do not discuss it. The honest bookkeeper, the faithful wife, the earnest scholar get little of our attention compared to the embezzler, the tramp, the cheat.”
― John Steinbeck

“The quality of owning freezes you forever in “I,” and cuts you off forever from the “we.”
― John Steinbeck

“As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.”
― 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

“I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too 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.”
― John Steinbeck

“It has always seemed strange to me…The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”
― John Steinbeck

“I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?”
― John Steinbeck

“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?”
John Steinbeck quotes

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