"This is the story of Danny and of Danny's friends and of Danny's house. It is a story of how these three became one thing." Danny returns from the Great War to inherit two houses in the shabby district of Tortilla Flat. He falls in with a group of poor paisanos. Together, they gossip, talk... read more
“One cry of pain escaped him before he left for all time his old and simply existence. "Pilon," he said sadly, "I wished you owned it and I could come live with you."”This quote is Danny's only spoken utterance of remorse for having the burden of the houses placed on him. It takes place at the beginning of chapter two, when Danny and Pilon take up inhabitance of the inherited houses.
“Our Father is in the evening. These birds are flying across the forehead of the father. Dear birds, dear sea gulls, how I love you all.”Pilon utters these thoughts to no one but himself on the walk to Danny's house in the evening. He had worked the entire day cleaning squids so that he would have some rent to give to Danny.
“I will go out to The One who can fight. I will find The Enemy who is worthy of Danny.”These are Danny's last words. He speaks them, table leg brandished overhead, at his party after challenging everyone in the world to fight him, if they dared. No one responds, and with these words, Danny rushes out of the house and into the gulch to his death.
“To think, all those years I lay in that chicken house, and I did not know any pleasure. But now, oh, now I am very happy.”After the Pirate turns his money over to Danny and Pilon in Chapter 7, he expresses the joy that he feels for having friends with this quote.
“The paisanos are free of commercialism, free of the complicated systems of American business, and, having nothing that can be stolen, exploited or mortgaged, that system has not attacked them very vigorously.”In the Preface, the narrator of Tortilla Flat makes these comments about the paisanos. It explains not what they lack, but what Steinbeck finds beautiful about them. He sees the advances in American business and technology as corrupting influences on freedom loving people.
“If there was one rule of conduct more strong than any other to Pilon, it was this: Never under any circumstances bring feathers, head or feet home, for without these a chicken cannot be identified.”Narrator commenting on Pilon's methods for preventing accusations of chicken thievery.
“In a little while Danny assaulted her virtue with true gallantry and vigor.”
Spiritually the jugs may be graduated thus: Just below the shoulder of the first bottle, serious and concentrated conversation. Two inches farther down, sweetly sad memory. Three inches more, thoughts of old and satisfactory loves. An inch, thoughts of bitter loves. Bottom of the first jug, general and undirected sadness. Shoulder of the second jug, black, unholy despondency. Two fingers down, a song of death or longing. A thumb, every other song each one knows. The graduations stop here, for the trail splits and there is no certainty. From this point on anything can happen.Highlighted by 33 Kindle customers
The good story lay in half-told things which must be filled in out of the hearer’s own experience.Highlighted by 27 Kindle customers
It is a fact verified and recorded in many histories that the soul capable of the greatest good is also capable of the greatest evil.Highlighted by 22 Kindle customers
“Things that happen are of no importance,” he said. “But from everything that happens, there is a lesson to be learned. By this we learn that a present, especially to a lady, should have no quality that will require a further present. Also we learn that it is sinful to give presents of too great value, for they may excite greed.”Highlighted by 19 Kindle customers
It is astounding to find that the belly of every black and evil thing is as white as snow. And it is saddening to discover how the concealed parts of angels are leprous.Highlighted by 18 Kindle customers
Ah, the prayers of the millions, how they must fight and destroy each other on their way to the throne of God.Highlighted by 18 Kindle customers
No, dying, a man may be loved, hated, mourned, missed; but once dead he becomes the chief ornament of a complicated and formal social celebration.Highlighted by 18 Kindle customers
A soul washed and saved is a soul doubly in danger, for everything in the world conspires against such a soul. “Even the straws under my knees,” says Saint Augustine, “shout to distract me from prayer.”Highlighted by 15 Kindle customers
Theft robbed of the stigma of theft, crime altruistically committed—what is more gratifying?Highlighted by 14 Kindle customers
The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man.Highlighted by 14 Kindle customers
1. How Danny, Home from the Wars, Found himself an Heir, and How He Swore to Protect the Helpless.
2. How Pilon Was Lured By Greed of Position to Forsake Danny's Hospitality.
3. How the Poison of Possessions Wrought with Pilon, and How Evil Temporarily Triumphed in Him.
4. How Jesus Maria Corcoran, a Good Man, Became an Unwilling Vehicle of Evil.
5. How Saint Francis Turned the Tide and Put a Gentle Punishment on Pilon and Pablo and Jesus Maria.
6. How Three Sinful Men, Through Contrition, Attained Peace. How Danny's Friends Swore Comradeship.
7. How Danny's Friends Became a Force for Good. How They Succored the Poor Pirate.
8. How Danny's Friends Sought Mystic Treasure on Saint Andrew's Eve. How Pilon Found it and Later How a Pair of Serge Pants Changed Ownership Twice.
9. How Danny was Ensnared by a Vacuum-cleaner and How Danny's Friends Rescued Him.
10. How the Friends Solaced a Corporal and in Return Received a Lesson in Paternal Ethics.
11. How, Under the Most Adverse Circumstances, Love Came to Big Joe Portagee.
12. How Danny's Friends Assisted the Pirate to Keep a Vow, and How as a Reward for Merit The Pirate's Dogs Saw a Holy Vision.
13. How Danny's Friends Threw Themselves to the Aid of a Distressed Lady.
14. Of the Good Life at Danny's House, of a Gift Pig, of the Pain of Tall Bob, and of the Thwarted Love of the Viejo Ravanno.
15. How Danny Brooded and Became Mad. How the Devil in the Shape of Torrelli Assaulted Danny's House.
16. Of the Sadness of Danny. How Through Sacrifice Danny's Friends Gave a Party. How Danny was Translated.
17. How Danny's Sorrowing Friends Defied the Conventions. How the Talismanic Bond was Burned. How Each Friend Departed Alone.
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