Friday, July 25, 2008
Another great fable-like story from Steinbeck, this one also set in Monterey but featuring a whole different set of characters.
P ? - "It has always seemed strange to me," said Doc. "The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second."
"Who wants to be good if he has to be hungry too?" said Richard Frost.
"Oh, but it isn't a matter of hunger. It's something quite different. The sale of souls to gain the whole world is completely voluntary and almost unanimous - but not quite. Everywhere in the world there are Mack and the boys. I've seen them in an ice-cream seller in Mexico and in an Aleut in Alaska. You know how they tried to give me a party and it went wrong. But they wanted to give me a party. That was their impulse."