The Grapes of Wrath: Top Ten Quotes

“Before I knowed it, I was sayin out loud, The hell with it! There aint no sin and there aint no virtue. Theres just stuff people do. Its all part of the same thing. . . . . I says, Whats this call, this sperit? An I says, Its love. I love people so much Im fit to bust, sometimes. . . . . I figgered, Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe, I figgered, maybe its all men an all women we love; maybe thats the Holy Sperit-the human sperit-the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul everbodys a part of. Now I sat there thinkin it, an all of a suddent-I knew it. I knew it so deep down that it was true, and I still know it.” Jim Casy, Chapter 4

The bank is something more than men, I tell you. Its the monster. Men made it, but they cant control it. Chapter 5

“Tommy, dont you go fightin em alone. Theyll hunt you down like a coyote. Tommy, I got to thinkin and dreamin and wonderin. They say theres a hunerd thousand of us shoved out. If we was all mad the same way, Tommy-they wouldnt hunt nobody down-.” Ma Joad, Chapter 8

Ma cleared her throat. “It aint kin we? Its will we?” she said firmly. “As far as kin, we cant do nothin, not go to California or nothin; but as far as will, why, well do what we will. An as far as will-its a long time our folks been here and east before, an I never heerd tell of no Joads or no Hazletts, neither, ever refusin food an shelter or a lift on the road to anybody that asked. Theys been mean Joads, but never that mean.” Ma Joad, Chapter 10

It aint that big. The whole United States aint that big. It aint that big. It aint big enough. There aint room enough for you an me, for your kind an my kind, for rich and poor together all in one country, for thieves and honest men. For hunger and fat. Chapter 12

Here is the node, you who hate change and fear revolution. Keep those two squatting men apart; make them hate, fear, suspect each other. Here is the anlage of the thing you fear. This is the zygote. For here “I lost my land” is changed; a cell is split and from its splitting grows the thing you hate-“We lost our land.” The danger is here, for two men are not as lonely and perplexed as one. Chapter 14

Tom grinned. “It dont take no nerve to do somepin when there aint nothin else you can do.” Tom Joad, Chapter 18

“Youre our own folks,” Huston said sadly. “You belong with us. Howd you happen to come?” . . . . “Well, goddamn it, a fella got to eat.” Chapter 24

Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby their fruits may be eaten. And the failure hangs over the State like a great sorrow . . . . [A]nd in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage. Chapter 25

“Whenever theys a fight so hungry people can eat, Ill be there. Whenever theys a cop beatin up a guy, Ill be there . . . . Ill be in the way guys yell when theyre mad an-Ill be in the way kids laugh when theyre hungry an they know suppers ready. An when our folks eat the stuff they raise an live in the houses they build-why, Ill be there.” Tom Joad, Chapter 28