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50 Of Mice of Men Quotes to Inspire You to Keep Your Head Up

Published on March 1, 2020 7:40 AM EST
50 Of Mice of Men Quotes to Inspire You to Keep Your Head Up

These Of Mice and Men quotes will inspire you to keep working towards that goal, and to seek out the support of others that can help you get through it.

If you haven’t read Of Mice and Men, know that this book has several important messages for the reader. And even though this book by John Steinback dates back to the 1930s, the storyline, the characters, and the setting are all relevant today, albeit the circumstances were a bit different.

50 Of Mice of Men Quotes to Inspire You to Keep Your Head Up

This book talks about life during the Great Depression, and how seeking out job opportunities so that you can survive, can lead to severe loneliness but also create friendships in the darkest of times. These Of Mice and Men quotes don’t do the book justice, but they do offer a glimpse into motivational words to help you keep your head up and stay positive, even if it feels like you’re going at it alone. 

We also have a collection of Animal Farm quotes that will remind you to always check your privilege. Be sure to also read that.

Of Mice of Men Quotes on Friendship

1. “I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why.”  ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

2. “Lennie—if you jus’ happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here an’ hide in the brush… Hide in the brush till I come for you.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

3. “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.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

4. “Lennie said, ‘I thought you was mad at me, George.’ ” ‘No,’ said George. ‘No, Lennie, I ain’t mad. I never been mad, and I ain’ now. That’s a thing I want ya to know.′ ” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

5. “It ain’t so funny, him an’ me goin’ aroun’ together,” George said at last. “Him and me was both born in Auburn. I knowed his Aunt Clara. She took him when he was a baby and raised him up. When his Aunt Clara died, Lennie just come along with me out workin’. Got kinda used to each other after a little while.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

6. “Lennie said quietly, “It ain’t no lie. We’re gonna do it. Gonna get a little place an’ live on the fatta the lan’.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

7. “George can tell you screwy things, and it don’t matter. It’s just the talking. . . . That’s all.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

8. “But you get used to goin’ around with a guy an’ you can’t get rid of him.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

9. “Well, I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy. I just like to know what your interest is.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

10. “I was only foolin’, George. I don’t want no ketchup. I wouldn’t eat no ketchup if it was right here beside me.” “If it was here, you could have some.” “But I wouldn’t eat none, George. I’d leave it all for you. You could cover your beans with it and I wouldn’t touch none of it.”  ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men 

11. “And it’d be our own, an’ nobody could can us. . . . An’ if a fren’ come along, why we’d have an extra bunk, an’ we’d say, ‘Why don’t you spen’ the night?′ An’ . . . he would.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

Of Mice of Men Quotes on Hard Work

12. “We’ll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter, we’ll just say the hell with goin’ to work, and we’ll build up a fire in the stove and set around it an’ listen to the rain comin’ down on the roof – nuts!” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

13. “I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

14. “He moved with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsman. He was a jerkline skinner, the prince of the ranch, capable of driving ten, sixteen, even twenty mules with a single line to the leaders. He was capable of killing a fly on the wheeler’s butt with a bull whip without touching the mule.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

15. “There was a gravity in his manner and a quiet so profound that all talk stopped when he spoke, His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love. This was Slim, the jerkline skinner.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

16. “Then—it’s all off?” Candy asked sulkily. George didn’t answer his question. George said, “I’ll work my month an’ I’ll take my fifty bucks an’ I’ll stay all night in some lousy cat house. Or I’ll set in some poolroom til ever’body goes home. An’ then I’ll come back an’ work another month an’ I’ll have fifty bucks more.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

17. “George—why ain’t we goin’ on to the ranch and get some supper? They got supper at the ranch. George rolled on his side. “No reason at all for you. I like it here. Tomorra we’re gonna go to work. I seen thrashin’ machines on the way down. That means we’ll be bucking grain bags, bustin’ a gut.”  ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

Of Mice of Men Quotes on Loneliness

18. “Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

19. “I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone. That ain’t no good. They don’t have no fun. After a long time they get mean. They get wantin’ to fight all the time.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

20. “George’s voice became deeper. He repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before. ‘Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place. They come to a ranch an’ work up a stake, and the first thing you know they’re poundin’ their tail on some other ranch. They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

21. “Guys like us got nothing to look ahead to.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

22. ″‘Come on in and set a while,’ Crooks said. ‘Long as you won’t get out and leave me alone, you might as well set down.‘” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

23. “A guy sets alone out here at night, maybe readin’ books or thinkin’ or stuff like that.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

24. “If I catch any one man, and he’s alone, I get along fine with him. But just let two of the guys get together an’ you won’t talk. Jus’ nothing but mad. You’re all scared of each other, that’s what. Ever’ one of you’s scared the rest is goin’ to get something on you.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

Of Mice of Men Quotes on Race

25. “Well, you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung upon a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

26. “I was born right here in Southern California. My old man had a chicken ranch, ‘bout ten acres. The white kids come to play at our place, an’ sometimes I went to play with them, and some of them was pretty nice. My ‘ol man didn’t like that. I never knew till long later why he didn’t like that. But I know now.” He hesitated, and when he spoke again his voice was softer. “There wasn’t another colored family for miles around. And now there ain’t a colored man on this ranch an’ there’s jus’ one family in Soledad.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

27. “Crooks avoided the whole subject now. “Maybe you guys better go,” he said. “I ain’t sure I want you in here no more. A colored man got to have some rights even if he don’t like ’em.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

28. “Crooks had reduced himself to nothing. There was no personality, no ego—nothing to arouse either like or dislike. He said, “Yes, ma’am,” and his voice was toneless.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

29. “George patted a wrinkle out of his bed, and sat down. “[The boss gave] the stable buck hell?” he asked.” Sure. Ya see the stable buck’s a nigger.” “Nigger, huh?” “Yeah. Nice fella too. Got a crooked back where a horse kicked him. The boss gives him hell when he’s mad. But the stable buck don’t give a damn about that. He reads a lot. Got books in his room.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

Of Mice of Men Quotes on Understanding

30. “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.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

31. “We know what we got, and we don’t care whether you know it or not.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

32. “In every bit of honest writing in the world, there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

33. “KNOWING A MAN WELL NEVER LEADS TO HATE and nearly always leads to love.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men 

34. “There are shorter means, many of them. There is writing promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

35. “Try to understand each other!” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

36. “His ear heard more than was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding beyond thought.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

Of Mice of Men Quotes on Savoring Time

37. “As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

38. “We got a future.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

Of Mice of Men Quotes on Hope

39. “For two bits I’d shove out of here. If we can get jus’ a few dollars in the poke we’ll shove off and go up the American River and pan gold. We can make maybe a couple of dollars a day there, and we might hit a pocket.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

40. “Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’. I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It’s just in their head. They’re all the time talkin’ about it, but it’s jus’ in their head.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

41. “They fell into a silence. They looked at one another, amazed. This thing they had never really believed in was coming true.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

42. “We could live offa the fatta the lan’.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

43. “George said wonderingly, ‘S’pose they was a carnival or a circus come to town, or a ball game, . . . We’d just go to her . . . We wouldn’t ask nobody if we could. Jus’ say, ‘We’ll go to her,’ an’ we would. Jus’ milk the cow and sling some grain to the chickens an’ go to her.‘” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

44. “Tonight I’m gonna lay right here and look up. I like it.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

45. “…If I was bright, if I was even a little bit smart, I’d have my own little place, an’ I’d be bringin’ in my own crops, ‘stead of doin’ all the work and not getting what comes up outa the ground.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

46. “George said softly, “—I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we’d never do her. He usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

47. “O.K. Someday—we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

48. “Sure,” said George. “All kin’s a vegetables in the garden, and if we want a little whisky we can sell a few eggs or something, or some milk. We’d jus’ live there. We’d belong there. There wouldn’t be no more runnin’ round the country and gettin’ fed by a Jap cook. No, sir, we’d have our own place where we belonged and not sleep in no bunk house.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

49. “In town in a whorehouse. That’s where your money’s goin’. Jesus, I seen it happen too many times. I seen too many guys with land in their head. They never get none under their hand.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

50. “Whatever we ain’t got, that’s what you want. God a’mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an’ work, an’ no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

What did you learn from these Of Mice and Men quotes?

Of Mice and Men is a story of its time, but still has many themes that are timeless. The hardships of life during the Great Depression were not unique from other difficult periods in history, when people may have had unfathomable struggles.

Whether it was the recession, war, famine, a combination of these difficulties and ultimately immigrating to another country to try a hand at a better life, we never really know what someone else is going through.

Working towards a dream may mean a lot of obstacles, isolation, and ultimately, depression. Sometimes, it’s enough to want to throw in the towel and give it all up. Hopefully, these Of Mice and Men quotes will inspire you to keep working towards that goal, and to seek out the support of others that can help you get through it. 

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Of Mice and Men quotes? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

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