23 Inspiring John Steinbeck Quotes on Success

Updated: Jul 28

Birth: February 27, 1902, Salinas, California, USA

Death: December 20, 1968, New York, USA

John Steinbeck, of German origin, was born on February 27, 1902 in the state of California, USA. Coming from a poor family, the writer worked as a farmer at a young age.


He attended Stanford University at intervals between 1920 and 1926. However, he couldn't finish his school because he had to work in jobs such as masonry, painting, doorman and pharmacy. Having changed many professions throughout his life, he made the final decision on writing.


John Steinbeck, who deals with the society in different aspects in his works, has dealt with the woes of life and the poverty of people. He described the lifestyle and living conditions of agricultural workers in the California region, where he was born and grew up. So in most of the works, we see the impact of the 1929 economic crisis on people. John Steinbeck, who endorsed all American value judgments, was criticized by various audiences, especially because he approved the Vietnam War.


John Steinbeck gained great fame after his novel "Of Mice And Man", which he wrote with his deep understanding of social life, his ironic and cynical approach. Also his book "The Grapes of Wrath", which brought him the Pulitzer Prize, was released in the world of cinema.



“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
There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days, and as an opal changes its colors and its fire to match the nature of a day, so do I./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
A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us./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


“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” /John Steinbeck
It is true that we are weak and sick and ugly and quarrelsome but if that is all we ever were, we would millenniums ago have disappeared from the face of the earth./John Steinbeck
“And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good./John Steinbeck
It has always been my private conviction that any man who puts his intelligence up against a fish and loses had it coming./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


The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true./John Steinbeck
“There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do.” /John Steinbeck
No one wants advice - only corroboration./John Steinbeck
“All great and precious things are lonely.” /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 on the world./John Steinbeck


“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” /John Steinbeck
The discipline of the written word punishes both stupidity and dishonesty./John Steinbeck
“I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen.” /John Steinbeck
I've lived in good climate, and it bores the hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate./John Steinbeck
These words dropped into my childish mind as if you should accidentally drop a ring into a deep well. I did not think of them much at the time, but there came a day in my life when the ring was fished up out of the well, good as new./John Steinbeck

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