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Ten of the Best Quotes from East of Eden

By Abigail Bekx. Dec 20, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Born February 27, 1902, John Steinbeck is best known for being a prolific American writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962. One of his best known works is 1952’s East of Eden. The novel follows two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, through their lives in the Salinas Valley in Central California. Often considered the best of his work, Steinbeck explores themes of love, good, and evil, enrapturing and inspiring readers through his characters and philosophy. His insight into human nature twines throughout the novel, showing the importance of “thou mayest.” Though it's difficult to choose just ten, here are ten of the best quotes from East of Eden. 

John_Steinbeck1.) “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.”

2.) “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 I am about.”

3.) “There’s more beauty in truth, even if it is dreadful beauty.” 

4.) “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 to the world.” 

5.) “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” 

6.) “Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids.” 

7.) “An unbelieved truth can hurt a man much more than a lie. It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There’s a punishment for it, and it’s usually crucifixion.” 

East_Of_Eden_steinbeck

8.) “We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal.” 

9.) “Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.” 

10.) “Don’t you dare take the lazy way. It’s too easy to excuse yourself because of your ancestry. Don’t let me catch you doing it! Now—look close at me so you will remember. Whatever you do, it will be you who do it…” 

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Abigail Bekx
Reader, writer, and grammar nerd. Loves reading Harry Potter, Jane Austen, and Charlotte Brontë, and forcing her family to listen to her rants on how books are better than movies.

 

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