John Steinbeck Essay

1807 words - 8 pages

Born on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California, John Ernst Steinbeck is one of the world’s most popular authors. Steinbeck’s American classics depict portraits of the conditions of human life, struggles and triumphs. He is commonly known for his novels The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and novella Of Mice and Men. “He was an intellectual, passionately interested in his odd little inventions, in jazz, in politics, in philosophy, history, and myth” (“John Steinbeck, American Writer”). John Steinbeck experienced several struggles and rejections in order to be successful and have his books published the way he wanted them to. Steinbeck experienced an interesting life full of stories, controversy, adventure, love, and loss.
John Ernst Steinbeck was as the son of John Steinbeck and Olive Hamilton Steinbeck. Steinbeck lived a happy childhood with a younger sister, Mary, and two older sisters, Beth and Esther. His parents were not exceedingly successful. His mother was previously a teacher, while Steinbeck’s father held several different jobs, including: the manager of a flour plant, the owner of a feed and grain store, and the treasurer of the county. As a young boy, Steinbeck formed a great appreciation for the land in the Salinas Valley and the Pacific Coast. The Salinas Valley and his homeland came to be the setting of many of his novels and stories. (Shillinglaw). Steinbeck’s mother was a former teacher and inspired his love for literature. The book Le Morte d'Arthur, by Sir Thomas Malory, was Steinbeck’s favorite book as a boy and a big influence on his writing (“John Steinbeck Biography”). John Steinbeck decided to be a writer at age fourteen and he spent his teenager years writing various poems and stories (Shillinglaw). “After high school, Steinbeck worked off and on in many different jobs including a laborer in a sugar factory in Salinas, a laborer in mills, and a ranch hand. He also traveled throughout the Salinas Valley and studied marine life in Monterey Bay. He used many of his experiences for matieral in his later novels” (Shillinglaw). Steinbeck attended Stanford University in 1919, but he only signed up for literature and writing courses, which eventually led to Steinbeck leaving without earning a degree. The future famous author attempted newspaper reporting and construction work in New York City after parting Stanford, but he soon become uninterested and returned home (Shillinglaw).
Steinbeck wrote several drafts in the late 1920s for his first novel about a pirate, The Cup of Gold, which was published in 1929 but not well received. He also met his first wife, Carol Henning, while he was writing The Cup of Gold (Shillinglaw). “They wed in January 1930 and during the great depression they lived in a cottage owned by Steinbeck’s father. His family gave him free housing, free paper and from 1928 loans that enabled him to give up a warehouse job in San Francisco and focus on his writing” (“John Steinbeck...

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