Five profound John Steinbeck quotes

Five profound John Steinbeck quotes

17 February 2016

Next week marks John Steinbeck's 116th birthday. Here's five thought-provoking quotes from the Pulitzer-prize winning author of Of Mice and Men.

Of Mice and Men opens at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham next week, playing until Saturday 27 February, the anniversary of John Steinbeck's 116th birthday! The author is considered an American great, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 for his "realistic and imaginative writing, combining as it does sympathetic humor and keen social perception".

We've picked five of our favourite Steinbeck quotes that we think help understand the man and his work.

We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. Steinbeck wrote in a letter to Peter Benchley, author of Jaws, in 1956.

We are lonesome animals

A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. Steinbeck wrote in his travelogue 'Travels with Charley: In Search of America', a 1960 road trip around the United States with his poodle. 

A journey is like a marriage

The discipline of the written word punishes both stupidity and dishonesty. In the same letter to Peter Benchley in 1956.

Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power.


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. The feisty character of Ma Joad says in The Grapes of Wrath.


Of Mice and Men premieres at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, where it runs from 4 to 13 February 2016. It then tours to Cheltenham, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Darlington, Blackpool, Cambridge, Brighton, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Oxford and Leicester where it concludes on 28 May.