40 pages 1 hour read

John Steinbeck

Travels With Charley

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 1962

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Important Quotes

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“When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road away from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must first find in himself a good and sufficient reason for going.”

(Part 1, Chapter 1, Page 1)

Steinbeck states that his reason for taking the trip is to learn about the country, and to avoid getting old. This passage suggests that he may have wanted to take the trip anyway and invented those reasons to justify the trip to himself, his friends, and his wife.

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“He prefers negotiation to fighting, and properly so, since he is very bad at fighting.”

(Part 1, Chapter 2, Page 5)

Steinbeck describes Charley in almost human terms throughout the book. This quote comes during his introduction, as Steinbeck discusses the foolishness of bringing Charley on the trip as a guard dog.

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“Among nearly forty I didn’t see a single state that hadn’t a good word to say for itself.”

(Part 2, Chapter 4, Page 30)

Even the lowliest of places Steinbeck visits have historical markers and signs celebrating major historical events. This amuses him, but he appreciates the pride locals take in their homelands.