Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Grapes of Wrath Quotes
Grapes of Wrath Quotes The Grapes of Wrath is a novel by Nobel-Prize winning author John Steinbeck that is considered a classic piece of American literature. Published in 1939, the plot centers around the Joads, a family of sharecroppers, who journey to California seeking a new life as they attempt to escape the devasting effects of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl and The Great Depression. Selected Quotes from The Grapes of Wrath Houses were shut tight, and cloth wedged around doors and windows, but the dust came in so thinly that it could not be seen in the air, and it settled like pollen on the chairs and tables, on the dishes. Before I knowed it, I was sayin out loud, The hell with it! There aint no sin and there aint no virtue. Theres just stuff people do. Its all part of the same thing.... I says, Whats this call, this sperit? An I says, Its love. I love people so much Im fit to bust, sometimes.... I figgered, Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe, I figgered, maybe its all men an all women we love; maybe thats the Holy Sperit-the human sperit-the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul everbodys a part of. Now I sat there thinkin it, an all of a sudden- I knew it. I knew it so deep down that it was true, and I still know it. They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money. If they dont get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. Its the monster. Men made it, but they cant control it. I got thinkin how we was holy when we was one thing, an mankin was holy when it was one thing. An it ony got unholy when one misable little fella got the bit in his teeth an run off his own way, kickin an draggin an fightin. Fella like that bust the holi-ness. But when theyre all workin together, not one fella for another fella, but one fella kind of harnessed to the whole shebang- thats right, thats holy. It aint that big. The whole United States aint that big. It aint that big. It aint big enough. There aint 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. Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments. Fear the time when the strikes stop while the great owners live- for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken... 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. Is a tractor bad? Is the power that turns the long furrows wrong? If this tractor were ours, it would be good- not mine, but ours. We could love that tractor then as we have loved this land when it was ours. But this tractor does two things- it turns the land and turns us off the land. There is little difference between this tractor and a tank. The people were driven, intimidated, hurt by both. We must think about this. Okie use ta mean you was from Oklahoma. Now it means youre a dirty son-of-a-bitch. Okie means youre scum. Dont mean nothing itself, its the way they say it. I know this... a man got to do what he got to do. Theys a time of change, an when that comes, dyin is a piece of all dyin, and bearin is a piece of all bearin, an bearin an dyin is two pieces of the same thing. An then things aint so lonely anymore. An then a hurt dont hurt so bad. And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed. How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You cant scare him- he has known a fear beyond every other. Were Joads. We dont look up to nobody. Grampas grampa, he fit in the Revolution. We was farm people till the debt. And then- them people. They done somepin to us. Ever time they come seemed like they was a-whippin me- all of us. An in Needles, that police. He done somepin to me, made me feel mean. Made me feel ashamed. An now I aint ashamed. These folks is our folks- is our folks. An that manager, he come an set an drank coffee, an he says, Mrs. Joad this, an Mrs. Joad that- an How you getting on, Mrs. Joad? She stopped and sighed. Why, I feel like people again. The migrant people, scuttling for work, scrabbling to live, looked always for pleasure, dug for pleasure, manufactured pleasure, and they were hungry for amusement. In the souls of the people, the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage. Says one time he went out in the wilderness to find his own soul, an he foun he didnt have no soul that was hisn. Says he foun he jus got a little piece of a great big soul. Says a wilderness aint no good, cause his little piece of a soul wasnt no good less it was with the rest, an was whole. Whenever theys a fight so hungry people can eat, Ill be there. Whenever theys a cop beatin up a guy, Ill be there... Ill be in the way guys yell when theyre mad an Ill be in the way kids laugh when theyre hungry an they know suppers ready. An when our folks eat the stuff they raise an live in the houses they build- why, Ill be there.