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East of Eden Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from East of Eden
  1. #1
    “But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe.”
    author
    John Steinbeck
    book
    East of Eden
    character
    Lee
    concept
    Soul
  2. #2
    “People like you to be something, preferably what they are.”
  3. #3
    “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.”
  4. #4
    “When a child first catches adults out—when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just—his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. ”
  5. #5
    “Only twice in my life have I seen eyes like that—not like human eyes. ”
  6. #6
    “Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids.”
  7. #7
    “To a criminal, honesty is foolish.”
  8. #8
    “Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.”
  9. #9
    “It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times.”
  10. #10
    “There’s more beauty in truth, even if it is dreadful beauty.”
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  1. #11
    “A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?”
  2. #12
    “I thought I had inherited both the scars of the fire and the impurities which made the fire necessary—all inherited, I thought. All inherited.”
  3. #13
    “Monsters are variations from the accepted normal to a greater or a less degree. As a child may be born without an arm, so one may be born without kindness or the potential of conscience.”
  4. #14
    “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.”
  5. #15
    “Perhaps the less we have, the more we are required to brag.”
  6. #16
    “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.”
  7. #17
    “Maybe we all have in us a secret pond where evil and ugly things germinate and grow strong. But this culture is fenced, and the swimming brood climbs up only to fall back. Might it not be that in the dark pools of some men the evil grows strong enough to wriggle over the fence and swim free?”
  8. #18
    “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
  9. #19
    “But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’—that gives a choice.”
    author
    John Steinbeck
    book
    East of Eden
    character
    Lee
    concept
    Choices
  10. #20
    “Even God can have a preference, can he? Let’s suppose God liked lamb better than vegetables. I think I do myself. Cain brought him a bunch of carrots maybe. And God said, ‘I don’t like this. Try again. Bring me something I like and I’ll set you up alongside your brother.’ But Cain got mad. His feelings were hurt. And when a man’s feelings are hurt he wants to strike at something, and Abel was in the way of his anger.”
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