The Grapes of Wrath Quotes


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


And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.


it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials.


How can we live without our lives? How will we know it's us without our past?


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


Death was a friend, and sleep was Death's brother.


Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create - this is man.


Up ahead they's a thousan' lives we might live, but when it comes it'll on'y be one.


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.


Our people are good people; our people are kind people. Pray God some day kind people won't all be poor.


And this you can know- fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.


I'm jus' pain covered with skin.


You got a God. Don't make no difference if you don' know what he looks like.


And her joy was nearly like sorrow.


They's times when how you feel got to be kep' to yourself.


The bank - the monster has to have profits all the time. It can't wait. It'll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can't stay one size.


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


If you're in trouble or hurt or need–go to poor people. They're the only ones that'll help–the only ones.


He drank too much when he could get it, ate too much when it was there, talked too much all the time.


Before I knowed it, I was saying out loud, 'The hell with it! There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing. And some of the things folks do is nice, and some ain't nice, but that's as far as any man got a right to say.


I nearly always write just as I nearly always breathe.


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


You're buying years of work, toil in the sun; you're buying a sorrow that can't talk.


But you can't start. Only a baby can start. You and me - why, we're all that's been. The anger of a moment, the thousand pictures, that's us. This land, this red land, is us; and the flood years and the dust years and the drought years are us. We can't start again.


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.


The clouds appeared and went away, and in a while they did not try anymore.


The fields were fruitful, and starving men moved on the roads.


There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success.


Tell 'em to God. Don' go burdenin' other people with your sins. That ain't decent.


You stay out here a little while, an' if you smell any roses, you come let me smell, too.


The break would never come as long as fear could turn to wrath.


The land is so much more than its analysis.


Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby those fruits may be eaten.


The people in flight from the terror behind-strange things happen to them, some bitterly cruel and some so beautiful that the faith is refired forever.


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


Why don't you go on west to California? There's work there, and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick an orange. Why, there's always some kind of crop to work in. Why don't you go there?


I've done my damndest to rip a reader's nerves to rags, I don't want him satisfied.


All we got is the family unbroke.


Our people are good people, our people are kind people. Pray God someday kind people won't all be poor. Pray God someday a kid can eat. And the associations of owners know that some day the praying would stop. And there's the end.


I shall tell them this story against the background of the county I grew up in and along the river I know and do not love very much. For I have discovered that there are other rivers.


Maybe there ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue, they's just what people does. Some things folks do is nice and some ain't so nice, and that's all any man's got a right to say.


Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live - for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died...And this you can know - fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.


The last clear definite function of men—muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need—this is man.


Fella says today, 'Depression is over. I seen a jackrabbit, an' they wasn't nobody after him.' An' another fella says, 'That aint the reason. Can't afford to kill jackrabbits no more. Catch 'em and milk 'em an' turn 'em loose. One you seen prob'ly gone dry.


Sure I got sins. Ever'body got sins. A sin is somepin you ain't sure about. Them people that's sure about ever'thing an' ain't got no sin-- well, with that kind a son-of-a-bitch, if I was God I'd kick their ass right outa heaven! I couldn' stand 'em!


Prayer never brought in no side-meat. Takes a shoat to bring in pork.


Women and children knew deep in themselves that no misfortune was too great to bear if their men were whole.


At night frantic men walked boldly to hen roosts and carried off the squawking chickens. If they were shot at, they did not run, but splashed sullenly away; and if they were hit, they sank tiredly in the mud.


When you're huntin' somepin you're a hunter, an' you're strong. Can't nobody beat a hunter. But when you get hunted - that's different. Somepin happens to you. You ain't strong: maybe you're fierce, but you ain't strong." - Muley


Fella in business got to lie an' cheat, but he calls it somepin else. That's what's important. You go steal that tire an' you're a thief, but he tried to steal your four dollars for a busted tire. They call that sound business.