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THE GRAPES OF WRATH

by: John Steinbeck


Man, unlike anything organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.

The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it.

Salesmen, neat, deadly, small intent eyes watching for weakness.

You're not buying only junk, you're buying junked lives. And more - you'll see - you're buying bitterness. Buying a plow to plow your own children under, buying the arms and spirits that might have saved you.

The quality of owning freezes you forever into "I," and cuts you off forever from the "we."

If he needs a million acres to make him feel rich, seems to me he needs it 'cause he feels awful poor inside hisself, and if he's poor in hisself, there ain't no million acres gonna make him feel rich, an' maybe he's disappointed that nothin' he can do 'll make him feel rich.

It ain't that big. The whole United States ain't that big. It ain't that big. It ain't big enough. There ain't room enough for you an' me, for your kind an' my kind, for rich and poor together all in one country, for thieves and honest men. For hunger and fat.

On the highways the people moved like ants and searched for work, for food. And the anger began to ferment.

Wisht I knowed what all the sins was, so I could do 'em. The migrants looked humbly for pleasure on the roads.

It don't take no nerve to do somepin when there ain't nothin' else you can do.

That man who is more than his elements knows the land that is more than its analysis. But the machine man, driving the dead tractor on land he does not know and love, understands only chemistry.

All that lives is holy.

Gonna get me a whole big bunch of grapes off a bush, or whatever, an' I'm gonna squash 'em on my face an' let 'em run offen my chin.

A vacant house falls quickly apart.

How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past? No. Leave it. Burn it.

I'm learnin' one thing good ... 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.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lif' up his fellow, but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up.

A fella ain't got a soul of his own, but on'y a piece of a big one.

Fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.

Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby their fruits may be eaten. And the failure hangs over the State like a great sorrow.

There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There is just stuff people do.

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