The Winter of Our Discontent

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The Winter of Our Discontent (1961) by John Steinbeck

Part One[edit]

Chapter II[edit]

  • "I'm sorry," Ethan said. "You have taught me something -- maybe three things, rabbit footling mine. Three things will never be believed -- the true, the probable, and the logical. I know now where to get the money to start my fortune."

Chapter III[edit]

  • It is strange how a man believes he can think better in a special place. I have such a place, have always had it, but I know it isn't thinking I do there, but feeling and experiencing and remembering. It's a safety place -- everyone must have one, although I never heard a man tell of it.
  • They successfully combined piracy and puritanism, which aren't so unlike when you come right down to it. Both had a strong dislike for opposition and both had a roving eye for other people's property.
  • No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.
  • Does anyone ever know even the outer fringe of another? What are you like in there? Mary -- do you hear? Who are you in there?

Chapter V[edit]

  • A man who tells secrets or stories must think of who is hearing or reading, for a story has as many versions as it has readers.

Chapter VI[edit]

  • To be alive at all is to have scars.

Chapter VIII[edit]

  • There's something desirable about anything you're used to as opposed to something you're not."

Part Two[edit]

Chapter XI[edit]

  • All men are moral. Only their neighbors are not.

Chapter XIII[edit]

  • Maybe not having time to think is not having the wish to think.
  • Strength and success— they are above morality, above criticism. It seems then, that it is not what you do, but how you do it and what you call it.

Chapter XIV[edit]

  • Not only the brave get killed, but the brave have a better chance of it.
  • Good God, what a mess of draggle-tail impulses a man is -- and a woman too, I guess.