John Steinbeck Essay

806 words - 3 pages

22 January 2001 John SteinbeckJohn Steinbeck, American novelist, won the 1962 Nobel Laureate in Literature for his realistic and imaginative writings. No other author has quite achieved Steinbeck¡¯s Humanistic style. He combined sympathetic humor and keen social perception as in The Grapes of Wrath. He also is capable of realistic portraying the tenderness of human relationship as in Of Mice and Men and The Pearl. He also shows the pain of outcast individuals in Cannery Row. Quite possible the greatest writer during the 20th century, Steinbeck uses his experiences to make his writing poignant and realistic.John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California. After graduating from high school, he spent four years at Stanford University, but he did no get a degree. He chose to work many jobs instead of studying at the university to gain more various experiences. Many of these experiences are present throughout his works. He struggled financially at first before his first success. Kunitz states, ¡°his first three books (Cup of Gold, The Pastures of Heaven, and To a God Unknown) were financial failures and for a long time he was very poor¡± (Kunitz 1338). However, he wrote Grapes of Wrath, and won the Pulitzer award. Charles Moritz said ¡°Notoriety was not congenial to Steinbeck, and at the height of the clamor over the Grapes of Wrath, he went with his friend, who figures as Doc in Sweet Thursday and Cannery, on a scientific expedition to the Gull of California¡±(Moritz 398).Clearly Steinbeck¡¯s genuine love humanity shows in these works. Steinbeck rages from the romantic history of his first novel to the gayety of Tortilla Flat. ¡°Tortilla Flat far exceeded its publisher¡¯s mild expectations: it appeared on the best-seller lists for months and was denounced by the Monterey Chamber of Commerce, who feared its discourage effect on the tourist trade¡±(Moritz 398). About religion part, Steinbeck was in revolt against Puritan social exploitation which so often accompanies it. Kunitz said, ¡°he was not without religion: his religion was built on a kind of mysticism which was not the less impressive because it as naturalistic as his ethics¡±(Kunitz 1339).Another major social focus for Steinbeck was the Dust Bowl myth. His great commentary on this myth is, of course, The Grapes of Wrath. The Joads, representing many families, set out to California with high hopes only to meet many grim hardships. ¡°Of all the grim spectacles created by the Great Depression, none has won a stronger hold on the American imagination then the travails of the Dust Bowl migrants¡±(Shindo 25). Steinbeck shows the American grit and determination. Steinbeck...

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