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14 pieces of wisdom from John Steinbeck novels

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There's a reason why John Steinbeck's novels are still a staple of any self-respecting English teacher's annual lesson plan. Not only are they filled with timeless themes and fully realised characters but they also boast a wealth of thought-provoking slices of insight.

To celebrate the very best, we have found the 14 greatest pieces of wisdom from John Steinbeck novels.

Let us know in the comments if we missed off your favourite.

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“In business and in politics a man must carve and maul his way through men to get to be King of the Mountain. Once there, he can be great and kind-but he must get there first.”

The Winter of Our Discontent

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“All great and precious things are lonely.”

East of Eden

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“A guy needs somebody―to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick.”

Of Mice and Men

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“There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do.”

The Grapes of Wrath

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“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.”

East of Eden

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“Mostly a guy that tries to scare you is a guy that can be scared.”

In Dubious Battle

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“Two are better than one,because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lif' up his fellow, but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up.”

The Grapes of Wrath

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“Guy don't need no sense to be a nice fella. Seems to me sometimes it jus' works the other way around. Take a real smart guy and he ain't hardly ever a nice fella.”

Of Mice and Men

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“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”

Sweet Thursday

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“No one wants advice, only corroboration.”

The Winter of Our Discontent

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“There's more beauty in truth, even if it is dreadful beauty.”

East of Eden

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"...you should talk. Sometimes a sad man can talk the sadness right out through his mouth. Sometimes a killin' man can talk the murder right out of his mouth.”

Grapes of Wrath

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"No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself."

The Winter of Our Discontent

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“A man so painfully in love is capable of self-torture beyond belief.”

East of Eden

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(Images: All Star, Rex Features)

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