Up ahead they's a thousan' lives we might live, but when it comes, it'll on'y be one. If I go ahead on all of 'em, it's too much.

John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck

Profession: Author
Nationality: American

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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.

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.

The men of Spain held ground for a little while, but then their hearts broke under their fine red coats, and they ran away to hide in the jungle.

Nearly everyone has his box of secret shame, shared with no one.

Doc would listen to any kind of nonsense and change it for you to a kind of wisdom.

In the bathroom two water tumblers were sealed in cellophane sacks with the words: "These glasses are sterilized for your protection." Across the toilet seat a strip of paper bore the message: "This seat has been sterilized with ultraviolet light for your protection." Everyone was protecting me and it was horrible.

In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.

Now what the hell do you suppose is eatin' them two guys?

Yes, you should talk, he said. Sometimes a sad man can talk the sadness right out through his mouth.

A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green.

Jesus Christ, one person with their mind made up can shove a lot of folks aroun'! You win, Ma. Put away that jack handle 'fore you hurt somebody.

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.

Bought two quarts of beer for breakfast.

Another hundred years were ground up and churned, and what had happened was all muddied by the way folks wanted it to be -- more rich and meaningful the farther back it was.