Quotes from The Pearl

John Steinbeck ·  96 pages

Rating: (156.2K votes)


“For it is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more. And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“Luck, you see, brings bitter friends.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“He said, "I am a man," and that meant certain things to Juana. It meant that he was half insane and half god.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“It is not good to want a thing too much. It sometimes drives the luck away. You must want it just enough, and you must be very tactful with Gods or the gods.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“The people say that the two seemed to be removed from human experience; that they had gone through pain and had come out on the other side.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl



“A plan is a real thing, and things projected are experienced. A plan once made and visualized becomes reality along with other realities—never to be destroyed but easily to be attacked.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“She knew she could help him best by being silent and by being near.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“He had said, "I am a man," and that meant certain things to Juana. It meant that he was half insane and half god. It meant that Kino would drive his strength against a mountain and plunge his strength against the sea. Juana, in her woman's soul, knew that the mountain would stand while the man broke himself; that the sea would surge while the man drowned in it. And yet it was this thing that made him a man, half insane and half god, and Juana had need of a man; she could not live without a man.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“This was an evil beyond thinking. The killing of a man was not so evil as the killing of a boat. For a boat does not have sons, and a boat cannot protect itself, and a wounded boat does not heal.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“For every man in the world functions to the best of his ability, and no one does less than his best, no matter what he may think about it.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl



“When Kino had finished, Juana came back to the fire and ate her breakfast. They had spoken once, but there is not need for speech if it is only a habit anyway. Kino sighed with satisfaction - and that was conversation.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“A town is a thing like a colonial animal. A town has a nervous system and a head and shoulders and feet. A town is a thing separate from all other towns alike. And a town has a whole emotion. How news travels through a town is a mystery not easily to be solved. News seems to move faster than small boys can scramble and dart to tell it, faster than women can call it over the fences.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“But now, by saying what his future was going to be like, he had created it. A plan is a real thing, and things projected are experienced. A plan once made and visualized becomes a along with other realities-never to be destroyed but easily to be attacked.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“Every man suddenly became related to Kino's pearl, and Kino's pearl went into the dreams, the speculations, the schemes, the plans, the futures, the wishes, the needs, the lusts, the hungers, of everyone, and only one person stood in the way and that was Kino, so that he became curiously every man's enemy. The news stirred up something infinitely black and evil in the town; the black distillate was like the scorpion, or like hunger in the smell of food, or like loneliness when love is withheld. The poison sacs of the town began to manufacture venom, and the town swelled and puffed with the pressure of it.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“And, as with all retold tales that are in people's hearts, there are only good and bad things and black and white things and good and evil things and no in between anywhere.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl



“There is a great deal to be seen in the tilt of a hat on a man.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“Some day, his mind said, that boy would know what things were in the books and what things were not.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“And because they were in some way one thing and one purpose, she smiled with him.

And they began this day with hope.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“It was a morning like other mornings and yet perfect among mornings.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“He did not know, and perhaps this doctor did. And he could not take the chance of pitting his certain ignorance against this man's possible knowledge. He was trapped as his people were always trapped, and would be until, as he had said, they could be sure that the things in the books ere really in the books.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl



“And in his dream, Coyotito was reading from a book as large as a house, with letters as big as dogs, and the words galloped and played on the book.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“But in the song there was a secret little inner song, hardly perceptible, but always there, sweet and secret and clinging, almost hiding in the counter-melody, and this was the Song of the Pearl That Might Be...”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“They had spoken once, but there is not need for speech if it is only a habit anyay. Kino sighed with satisfaction -- and that was conversation.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“Porque se dice que los humanos no se satisfacen jamás, que se les da una cosa y siempre quieren algo más. Y se dice esto con erróneo desprecio, ya que es una de las mayores virtudes que tiene la especie y que la hace superior a los animales que se dan por satisfechos con lo que tienen.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“She gathered some brown seaweed and made a flat damp poultice of it, and this she applied to the baby's swollen shoulder, which was as good a remedy as any and probably better than the doctor could have done. But the remedy lacked his authority because it was simple and didn't cost anything.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl



“He had said, "I am a man," and that meant certain things to Juana. It meant that he was half insane and halfgod”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“He had said, "I am a man," and that meant certain things to Juana. It meant that he was half insane and half god.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“For it is said that humans are never
satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more. And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


“The ants were busy on the ground, big black ones with shiny bodies and the little dusty quick ants. Kino watched with the detachment of God while a dusty ant frantically tried to escape the sand trap an ant lion had dug for him.
He watched the ants moving, a little column of them near to his foot, and he put his foot in their path. Then the column climbed over his instep and continued on its way, and Kino left his foot there and watched them move over it.”
― John Steinbeck, quote from The Pearl


About the author

John Steinbeck
Born place: in Salinas Valley, California, The United States
Born date February 27, 1902
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