John Steinbeck’s 80 Best Phrases

John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. He was an American-born writer, storyteller, and war correspondent who won the Nobel Prize for Literature and whose famous works were brought to the big screen. Among his best writings are: ‘Las uvas de la ira’, ‘Al este del Eden’ and ‘De ratones y hombres’.

If you are interested in knowing his way of thinking, you will like this selection of John Steinbeck’s best quotes.

    Table of Contents

    John Steinbeck’s most memorable phrases

    With this selection of phrases and reflections by John Steinbeck, we will return to his work and his way of seeing life.

    1. I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are also few great artists.

    A big compliment to the people who teach us.

    2. I wonder how many people I’ve watched all my life and never seen.

    People are more than what they show on the outside.

    3. The free exploratory spirit of the individual human being is the most precious thing in the world.

    The imagination has no limits.

    4. I believe that a strong woman can be stronger than a man, especially if she has love in her heart.

    The strength comes from us.

    5. Of all the animals in creation, man is the only one who drinks without thirst, eats without hunger and speaks without having to say anything.

    A reference to people’s recklessness and arrogance.

      6. The art of rest is part of the art of work.

      If you don’t get a break, you won’t find time to enjoy your accomplishments.

      7. No one wants advice, only corroboration.

      A lot of people hate to hear something different from what they think.

      8. I wonder why we see more progress than destruction.

      Different advances come from cruel experiences.

      9. A question is a trap, and an answer sets foot in it.

      This is why you should always go with the truth.

      10. A city’s culture can be measured by the thickness of the dust in the books of a public library.

      Every nation must cultivate the art of reading.

      11. Maybe everyone is afraid of other people in this damn world.

      Fear is what drives us to act in the worst way.

      12. Ideas are like rabbits. You get a pair, learn how to take care of them, and you’ll soon have a dozen.

      Ideas lead to great results.

      13. I was born lost and don’t like to be found.

      Being different can be a stigma in the eyes of others.

      14. It should not be forgotten that a monster is only a variation, and that for a monster the norm is monstrous.

      People cannot be good if they have grown up in an environment where evil is daily.

      15. In human affairs where there is danger and where care must be taken, a happy ending can be seriously compromised by haste.

      Acting impulsively can cost us valuable opportunities.

      16. Perhaps the best conversationalist in the world is the one who helps others talk.

      Everyone deserves the opportunity to tell their story.

      17. There is more beauty in the truth, even if it is a terrible truth.

      A harsh reality is preferable to a beautiful and false lie.

      18. You don’t need a brain to be good. And sometimes I think it’s the opposite.

      Do you think kindness doesn’t come from intelligence?

      19. It’s much darker when a light goes out than it might have been if the light had never been on.

      It’s harder to recover when you’ve had it all once.

      20. What would be the use of the heat of summer without the cold of winter to give it softness?

      When we see things as a balance, we appreciate every change.

      21. You can only understand people if you feel them inside you.

      You can’t understand someone if you don’t empathize.

      22. A city is very much like an animal. It has a nervous system, a head, shoulders and feet. It is separate from other cities, so no two are the same. And it’s also an emotional whole.

      Cities are kept alive by the human warmth of their inhabitants.

      23. The discipline of writing punishes both stupidity and dishonesty.

      Be careful what you hire.

      24. With few exceptions, what men want is not money, but luxury, love and admiration.

      It’s not the money, but the benefits it gives us.

      25. We only have one story.

      No story is perfect, but all are beautiful because they are personal.

        26. Intention, good or bad, is not enough.

        Intentions create great disasters when done the wrong way.

        27. Those who win the battles are the sheep, but those who win the wars are the free men.

        The wars against ourselves and what can prevent us from having a better future.

        28. You are no longer a man; you’re a soldier. Your worries don’t matter, lieutenant, and neither does your life.

        The reality inside the battalions.

        29. Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of losing power.

        An interesting reflection on the enemigo verdadero.

        30. How can we live without our lives? How will we know who we are without our past?

        It is our past that builds our legacy in the world.

        31. Change comes like a little breeze that flutters the curtains at dawn, it comes like the faint scent of wild flowers, hidden in the grass.

        No change is radical, it comes like that because we refuse to move forward.

        32. All great and beautiful things are lonely.

        Loneliness doesn’t have to be bad if we see it as beneficial.

        33. My imagination will one day give me a passport to hell.

        When you were different, you tended to be judged by others.

        34. People like you to be something, preferably what they are.

        Something that stays within what they consider “normal”.

        35. Ahead of us are a thousand different lives we could live, but when we arrive it will be one.

        Life is what we choose to live.

        36. Every war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.

        It’s just a sample of human cowardice.

        37. If you are in trouble, hurt or in need, go to the poor. They are the only ones to help, the only ones.

        The nicest people are those who don’t care about material things.

        38. Greatness lives in those who triumph over defeat and victory.

        Defeat makes us wise and victories should make us humble.

        39. I will take revenge in the most cruel way you can imagine. I will forget it.

        The best revenge is to enjoy our life.

        40. And the strident little fact that resonates throughout history: repression only serves to reinforce and weave together the repressed.

        All the people locked up find their courage to free themselves.

        41. I guess there are never enough books.

        An absolute reality.

        42. The weight of knowledge is too great for a mind to absorb.

        We may not be able to bear all the truths that are hidden.

        43. Don’t worry about losing. If it’s correct, it happens. The main thing is not to rush. Nothing good escapes.

        Things happen at the right time.

        44. Men don’t knock them down, or I mean they can defend themselves against big things. What kills them is erosion; they are driven to failure. They are slowly getting scared.

        Failure does not defeat us, but not having the opportunities we need to grow.

        45. It is in the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him.

        The only way to to succeed is to trust us.

        46. ​​Socialism is just another form of religion and, therefore, delusional.

        A critique of socialism.

        47. It is a common experience that a difficult problem at night is solved in the morning after the dream committee has worked on it.

        Sleep helps us renew ourselves.

        48. To be alive is to have scars.

        We all go through tough times, but surviving them is what makes us great.

          49. It would be absurd not to understand both angels and demons since we invented them.

          Is religion just a human invention?

          50. If they understand each other, they will be kind to each other.

          Kindness comes from empathy.

          51. And now that you don’t have to be perfect anymore, you can be good.

          Being perfect is a burden that keeps us from being ourselves.

          52. In the souls of men the grapes of wrath fill up and pile up for the harvest.

          Anger is a snowball effect, it grows little by little until it becomes uncontrollable.

          53. Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals.

          A negative observation of this work.

          54. I will fight against any idea, religion or government that limits or destroys the individual.

          No ideology should limit people’s potential.

          55. There is no better springboard than a bad conscience to embark on philanthropy.

          Many of those who do good only try to hide their sins.

          56. You can know: he fears the moment when man stops suffering and dying for a concept, because this quality is man himself, and what differentiates him from the whole universe.

          When we free ourselves from our ideologies, we become unstoppable.

          57. Fear crept into the houses where they stayed and made them sad, and hovered over the patrols and made them cruel.

          Fear makes us paranoid and we tend to see the good as a threat.

          58. You often see him in war: a coward who becomes a hero and a brave man who goes down in flames.

          Not all stories of brave people in wars are real.

          59. All novels, all poetry are built on the endless struggle between good and evil that takes place within us.

          An interesting origin for literature.

          60. Money is very easy to make if you don’t want anything else.

          An almost empty motivation.

          61. That is why I will fight for freedom of thought, so that it can follow the direction it wants, without impositions or ties.

          No one can put a bond on our mind.

          62. People don’t take trips, trips make people.

          It is by exploring new things that one discovers a different internal value.

          63. Teaching can be the greatest of arts, since the medium is the human spirit.

          Education should be valued most for the development of people.

          64. One can find so much pain when the rain falls.

          When the environment is good, we can awaken all the locked up sorrows.

          65. Casi nunca un muy listo es un hombre bueno.

          There are people who boast of their intelligence, but who lack humanity.

          66. When a man says he doesn’t want to talk about something, it usually means he can’t think of anything else.

          What we refuse to say is what stalks us daily in our minds.

          67. Human beings sometimes have more venom than snakes.

          Human evil is also incalculable.

          68. Very often people stumble and fall due to excessive rainfall.

          Many failures come from the rush to get where we are not yet ready to be.

          69. You don’t need courage to do something when it’s the only thing you can do.

          If this is what you have to do, it will happen sooner or later.

          70. And, of course, people are only interested in themselves. If a story isn’t about the listener, they won’t listen.

          People who want to be protagonists won’t see another story that isn’t theirs.

          71. Sin does not exist and virtue does not exist. It’s only what people do.

          Good and bad arise in the actions we do.

          72. Under his shell of cowardice, man aspires to the good and wants to be loved. If he takes the path of vice, he believes he is taking a shortcut that will lead him to love.

          We all want to be loved, but not everyone seeks it in the right way.

          73. It is curious to see how distant misfortune is when it does not affect us personally.

          We can never completely understand someone until we live the same way.

          74. In absolute solitude, a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.

          Loneliness can be a writer’s best ally.

          75. A sad soul can kill faster than a germ.

          Sorrows that are not appeased end up devouring every gram of happiness that exists.

          76. Time is the only critic, without ambition.

          It can help us grow or get stuck.

          77. A trip is like a wedding. You are fooling yourself if you think you have everything under control.

          Nobody controls everything and relationships are not a cage.

          78. A truth that is not believed will hurt us much more than a lie.

          When they don’t believe your truth, nothing seems safer.

          79. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.

          Love makes us strong, never weak.

          80. When two people meet, each is changed by the other, so you have two new people.

          Change is inherent in improvement and it is the rule in a relationship.

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