I recently read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, originally published in 1937. The book talks about the friendship between two displaced migrant ranch workers and is set during the Great Depression of the United States. I found it to be quite a powerful exploration of the violence of friendship and masculinity at large. Here are ten quotes from the book that particularly stood out to me.
“If you don’ want me I can go off in the hills an’ find a cave. I can go away any time.”
I seen ’em poison before, but I never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her.
“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.”
George sighed. “You give me a good whore house every time,” he said. “A guy can go in an’ get drunk and get ever’thing outta his system all at once, an’ no messes. And he knows how much it’s gonna set him back. These here jail baits is just set on the trigger of the hoosegow.”
“I seen too many guys with land in their head. They never get none under their hand.”
“Ain’t many guys travel around together,” he mused. “I don’t know why. Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”
“I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog.”
“Guys like us got nothing to look ahead to.”
“You never oughta drink water when it ain’t runnin’.”
“As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment.”