“To be alive at all is to have scars.”    -The Winter of Our Discontent. John Steinbeck.


This line stopped my reading promptly. A clean, impactful, line of literature has that affect on me.

Steinbeck – Quote

‘There is nothing so monsterous but we can belief if of ourselfs.’  John Steinbeck, The Pastures of Heaven.

From the mind of a child character within this book came this brilliant line. I’m highly fascinated by Steinbeck’s use of incorrect grammar to further the development of the child within the reader. And for me, it’s a reminder to ignore rules.


East of Eden – 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 mist fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost. – John Steinbeck. East of Eden.

I found this to be the most powerful paragraph in the book. Much later in the book he followed this thought up with-

Can you think that whatever made us –would stop trying?

Some writers write to re-read their own words.  Others write humbly then hope and pray another will find them useful. I find Steinbeck’s words most useful and I wish I could shake his hand.